Don’t Forget About Ben Revere
Ben Revere never played in the second half in his first year with the Phillies due to a broken foot suffered against the White Sox just before the All-Star break. It’s easy to forget about him, especially since he got off to such a slow start, hitting just .200 with a .456 OPS through the end of April. And he’s not the type of player who will impact MLB odds of winning a championship.
But from the start of May up until his injury, Revere hit .347 with a .380 on-base percentage, stealing 17 bases in 23 attempts. Despite some very questionable routes to balls and as weak an arm as you will find in the Majors, Revere provided value on the defensive side of things as well, using his speed to track balls down in the gap.
(Fly balls caught by Phillies’ defenders)
Revere provided 2.6 Wins Above Replacement to the Twins in 2012 and he was well on his way to another 2-WAR season with the Phillies prior to the injury, per Baseball Reference. While Phillies fans are used to a significantly above-average player in center, as Shane Victorino was the main man in center from 2006 through the trade deadline in 2012, average center fielders are hard to come by. For example, despite hitting for very little power (.048 ISO), Revere ranked 23rd of 39 center fielders in weighted on-base average, among those with at least 300 PA in 2013.
The Phillies will go into the off-season looking to add at least one outfielder. Among them are players capable of playing center, such as free agent Shin-Soo Choo. Revere will enter his first of four years of arbitration eligibility, so the Phillies have a young, cheap, cost-controlled center fielder under their control through 2017. There are only a handful of players that should force the Phillies to bump Revere out of center, and none of them will be available in free agency this off-season. As unexciting as it sounds, Revere should be a featured part of the Phillies’ roster in 2014, especially if he can repeat what he did in May, June, and early July last season.