Ben Revere Has Turned His Season Around

When the Phillies lost the final two games of a three-game set in Cincinnati and returned home on June 10, Ben Revere was not well-liked among Phillies fans. He was hitting a meager .282 and had made a number of poor defensive plays in center field, leading to the pitching staff giving up unnecessary amounts of runs en route to losses in otherwise winnable games. He hit his first career home run back on May 27, leading to some amusement, but he carried a .631 OPS when the Padres came into Philadelphia. Hardly the performance that makes one think “cornerstone of the franchise”.

Since then, particularly over the last two weeks, Revere has turned his season around and has been one of only two Phillies swinging the bat well as of late. Since June 26 (12 games), Revere has seven multi-hit games and is 6-for-7 stealing bases. He now has 26 total, the third-highest total in the National League behind Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton. He has a 90 percent success rate overall, having attempted to steal 29 times.

Revere is also hitting .292 with a .314 on-base percentage. His .294 weighted on-base average is still sub-standard, but a .314 OBP out of the lead-off spot is passable, as the league average (with pitchers excluded) is .320.

In fact, Revere’s numbers this season are similar to what he put up with the Minnesota Twins in 2012, which made him an attractive trade target:

  • 2012: .294/.333/.342 (2.6 rWAR; 3.0 fWAR)
  • 2014: .292/.314/.351 (-0.4 rWAR; 1.0 fWAR)

The difference in on-base percentage is due to a two percent lower walk rate, and a few stray hit-by-pitches.

The difference in WAR between the two seasons is defense. FanGraphs credits Revere with +14.9 UZR in 2012 and -1.5 this season. Baseball Reference puts his 2012 at +8 and -13 this season. Obviously, single-season defensive stats are to be taken with a massive grain of salt, but the overarching point is that if Revere is to be the Phillies’ everyday center fielder going forward — even if it is to bridge the gap between now and when they are legitimately competitive again several years down the road — he has to make positive strides defensively, ending the trend of defensive regression that we have seen in his time with the Phillies.

Contrary to popular belief, Revere can be a productive player for the Phillies. He will never be a Mike Trout or even a Shane Victorino, but an average to an above-average everyday center fielder nonetheless. Considering that Revere is still 26 years old and that he will be under team control for the next three seasons, the Phillies should be happy they made the trade with the Twins for Revere, despite Vance Worley‘s newfound success with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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