2013 Phillies Report Card: Ben Revere
I was fairly unmoved by the trade to acquire Ben Revere. On the one hand, getting anything serviceable for Vance Worley and Trevor May seems like a win on its face. Worley’s magic had just about run out, and May’s prospect star had dimmed out of the main sequence and into the “probable reliever” spectrum. Revere, though, did not seem like the everyday outfielder that the Phillies required.
For Revere to start on a team with a lineup relatively free of question marks and a clear offensive power plant was one thing. But the Phillies already faced a dearth of viable starting corner outfielders, had injury and productivity question marks at positions where offense came first, and would likely need to enlist marginal players out of position all too often. Revere would be a great 9th and final missing piece for a team that needed only a defensive anchor in the middle of the outfield. For the Phillies he was perhaps the 3rd or 4th piece placed on the board, with too few to follow.
In the robust recent tradition of Ruben Amaro acquisitions, Revere doesn’t walk much, or possess any power to speak of. Since Revere’s major league debut in 2010, for hitters with a minimum of a 1,000 plate appearances over that period, Revere has the lowest isolated power in the MLB, at .045. The league average for this, year in and year out, tends to be about 100 points higher. Tick down the other names behind Revere on that list — Chris Getz, Jamey Carroll, Juan Pierre, Ryan Theriot, OK, stop, this is getting very sad. And yes, as noted many times during the 2013 season, he has yet to hit a home run at the Major League level.
To Revere’s credit, in that same scope, 25 other hitters have drawn walks less frequently than him, enough to fill an active roster wherein Yuniesky Betancourt, Miguel Tejada, Alex Gonzalez, and Alcides Escobar fight for the right to start at shortstop and never get on base. Still, doing things at the plate that aren’t base hits is clearly not Revere’s bailiwick. Many fans and writers are fond to sidestep what was an abysmal April for Revere (a .207 wOBA in 96 plate appearances); I had a bit of fun with this tendency back in June. I would tend not to ignore it, because, as it turns out, it was a thing that happened. It didn’t not happen, it happened.
In totality then, Revere’s offensive output was still the best he’s managed in his young career. .305/.338/.352 is relying heavily on the single to be sure, but Revere’s quickness means he can probably sustain slightly higher BABIPs than the norm. It never hurts to have a center fielder with good defense who can stay within spitting distance of league average offensive output (92 wRC+). About that defense, though: I’m undecided. Baseba’al knows that, sandwiched mostly between Domonic Brown and Delmon Young, Revere had his work cut out for him. It seemed like a mixed bag. Sometimes you got this:
But sometimes you got this:
Revere has demonstrated the capacity for great range, but is going to have to avoid taking Shane Victorino routes or making ill-considered first steps to make the most use of it.
Revere has earned “Super Two” status and is eligible for arbitration a year early this offseason, so while he still won’t break the bank, he likely won’t be around for league minimum anymore. It’s tough to imagine a combination of moves that outright pushes Revere out of the lineup, but it’s obvious that the Phillies will have to add offense somewhere. If Curtis Granderson or Jacoby Ellsbury are (regrettably) under consideration, there is an outside chance that Revere could end up a trading chip. Count on him being around at least one more season though.