Revere Catching On in Clearwater
- Updated: March 13, 2013
Ruben Amaro Jr. went into this winter with many holes to fill in the Phils’ lineup. Specifically, the eighth inning setup man, third base, right, left and center field. Amaro filled a few holes by signing veterans such as Michael Young, Mike Adams and Delmon Young. Amaro’s boldest move, however, was using two trade chips in the person of fan favorite Vance Worley and AA prospect Trevor May, to acquire young 22 year old Ben Revere. Thus far in spring training, the move has paid off.
Revere stole 40 bases last season for the Minnesota Twins, while hitting an impressive .294 in 124 games. His trademark speed, both on the bases and in the field, is what drew Amaro’s attention. Revere is a gap to gap center-fielder with an average arm.
The trade of Shane Victorino last July left a gaping hole in center-field that yielded many runs. Victorino covered a lot of ground and tracked down countless fly balls and line drives. Fortunately for the Phils, Revere can too. With uncertainty surrounding Delmon Young’s health, the impressive, but enigmatic play of Domonic Brown, not to mention John Mayberry, Jr. and Lance Nix, Revere has provided great run production and solid defense.
In 13 grapefruit league games, Revere is hitting a lusty .372 with 10 runs scored and 5 stolen bases. He’s a contact hitter that will rarely swing and miss. The main knock on Revere has been the fact that he has never hit a home run in the major leagues. Critics will also say, while he puts the ball in play, he has not walked enough. Therefore, his OPS hasn’t been where it should be.
Revere has reached base a total of 18 times in 43 at-bats so far, good for an .865 OPS and a .400 on base percentage. With Jimmy Rollins playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, Revere has spent much of his time in the lead-off spot. With the consistency he’s shown at the plate, there’s really no reason why that should change.
For all that Rollins has meant to this organization, and even with his 2007 MVP campaign, the truth is he’s never been a prototypical lead-off hitter. His average is always decent and his home runs and RBIs are more than you’d expect from a shortstop, but he does not get on base consistently enough.
He has never been one to take the free pass and use his speed over his bat. Rollins has some pop, but home runs are not what a lead-off hitter should be concerned with. Their focus should be getting on base and finding ways to score.
Ben Revere has done just that this spring. He finds ways to get on base and steal bags to set the table.
Again, Revere is just 22 years of age. He brings energy, speed, and maybe most importantly, youth, to an aging team looking for one more crack at October.
Stats courtesy of Phillies.com
Photo courtesy of Philly.com