Things Ben Revere is Unlikely to Do

Photo credit: Jim Crikket

Yesterday, during the Twins’ Spring Training loss to the Red Sox at JetBlue Park, Ben Revere threw out a runner at the plate from left field.  Well, kind of.  Jacoby Ellsbury tripled and the ball bounced away from Valencia at third into shallow left field.  Ellsbury, thinking the ball had skipped into an area void of defenders, took off for home.  Revere, racing in from left, scooped up the ball and threw a rocket to home plate, catching Ellsbury by three or four steps.  If you’re scoring at home, that’s an outfield assist.

While Spring Training stats do not count, Revere throwing a runner out, from anywhere, is a note worthy occurrence, given his weak throwing arm and previous performance (3 assists in 2011, and none of those, as far as I can remember, involved throwing a runner out at home plate).

With that in mind, here is a list of things Ben Revere is unlikely to do in 2012:

1. Throw out a Runner at Home Plate. As mentioned above, Revere’s arm is weak (4/100 per Fangraphs), and if he is not playing every day, his chances of even being in the right situation are limited, at best.

2. Hit a home run.  While Revere has shown that he can occasionally hit a home run (or 2), he has never hit a home run in the Major Leagues, and has just 5 home runs in his entire Minor League Career (with a career high of 2 at Single-A Fort Myers).  While Revere might eventually hit a ball over the outfield fence, his speed could allow him to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park home run, thus ending his HR drought.  However, Revere only hit 5 triples in 2011, despite his speed, and might not have enough at bats to even match that total in 2012.

3. Have an on base percentage above .335.  While he will never hit for power, Revere’s Minor League numbers indicate that he has great on base skills, posting a career .385 OPB, though he has never played a full season at AAA.  Revere’s biggest asset is his speed, and as a 4th outfielder, he will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his defensive tools, but for the team to put that speed to use offensively Revere will need to get to first base.  If he is not playing regularly, Revere may struggle to find a rhythm, having never been used consistently as a reserve.  While Revere posted a .310 OBP in 2011, that number was helped significantly by a late season push that saw Revere hit .311/.342/.368 in September and October.  If Revere wants to be the Twins’ leadoff hitter and centerfielder of the future, he’ll need to come close to Denard Span‘s career OBP of .361.

4. Says something interesting on Twitter. While Ben Revere (@BenRevere9) has almost 3 times as many Twitter followers as  fellow Minnesota Twin, Glen Perkins (@Glen_Perkins), he rarely, if ever, says anything noteworthy.  The most exciting thing he’s tweeted in the past 30 days is this.  Really, Ben Revere?  Trading in the Statue of Liberty for Tim Tebow Tebowing?  Meanwhile, Glen Perkins has not only spent Spring Training on a quest to hold and photograph himself holding sharks, he also interacts with fans and other Twitter users on a regular basis.  Definitely worth a follow.

What else might Ben Revere not do in 2012?  Steal 40 bases?  Run a marathon? Eat 50 In and Out burgers?  Who knows!

-ERolfPleiss

6 thoughts on “Things Ben Revere is Unlikely to Do

  1. The most likely thing Ben Revere is unlikely to do is satisfy fans who don’t think speed and defense are important or who think statistics tell the whole story.

    Revere has a lousy arm. If runners and coaches don’t already know that, they will eventually be told it by scouts. Just as caught steals is based on the runner miscalculating, so are outfield assists. Revere will get assists the same way he got that one against Ellsbury, because a runner and/or third base coach underestimate his ability to throw the runner out. And its only a matter of time ’til he does it at home plate.

    Revere’s “late season push” may tell you more about his likely future than how he did earlier in the year when he should have been at AAA. I don’t think a .335 OBP is all that unlikely this year. I think it is very likely he will do better than that for most of his career.

    “Glen Perkins has not only spent Spring Training on a quest to hold and photograph himself holding sharks,”

    Pictures of someone holding a fish really aren’t intrinsically any more exciting than being told to say your prayers by Revere.

  2. It’s hard not to like Revere. You can tell he’s one of those guys who has fun playing this game. His speed and defense are an asset, but the question is whether he’ll do enough with the bat to keep him from being an automatic out and earn a spot in the line up regularly. The Twins have other speedy outfielders almost ready to arrive and they’ve demonstrated more of an ability to produce offensively and have much stronger arms. At some point, you wonder if Revere will face a numbers game that won’t favor him. For now, I admit, I really do enjoy watching him play baseball and I hope he develops the plate discipline to jack up that OBP.

  3. TT – I agree with your assessment. Ben Revere’s speed and defense are valuable. But unfortunately, his lack of AAA seasoning, is hurting his ability to be a reliable hitter. And while his late season surge may be a result of him finally catching up to MLB pitching, it could also just be the case of Revere feasting off of September call-ups and playing loose and free with any chance of post season play long forgotten.
    Revere is definitely a fun player to watch. His defensive ability is impressive and his speed on the base paths keeps the defense on their toes, much to the benefit of the next guy standing in the batter’s box. But Ben Revere’s biggest value to this team, especially with the run of talented outfielders coming up through the MiLB system, will be Terry Ryan’s ability to shop him for other players likely to help the Twins win in the future, because after 2012, Revere’s spot on the 25 man roster is tenuous, at best.

  4. We got to a game in the bottom of the 1st inning last year. We sat in my friend’s company seats about 5 rows up, just past the visiting dugout. By far the nicest place I’ve ever watched a game from in the new park. Revere was on third base and – just as we sat down – he tagged up and ran home. My friend, who is not a baseball lover like me and does not know Ben Revere, yelled, “Holy cow! Did you see how fast he went?” It was pretty amazing close up.

    I am not qualified to weigh outfield defense against a weak bat, or tell you the odds of Revere improving his hitting. But I sure prefer watching outfielders with range.

    Also, I’ve watched a lot of years of baseball and I’ve seen many more weak outfield arms than strong. Shannon Stewart comes to mind. I never really forgave Jacque Jones for hitting the first base cutoff while Derek Jeter tagged and waltzed home, but I also thought Jeter was right to challenge Jones.

    (2004 LDS; NY saves a home split of the first two games: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/07/sports/baseball/07yanks.html)

  5. Hmmm…I noticed a theme among these items (except, of course, Twitter), that Revere won’t get enough at-bats and/or fielding chances to do something noteworthy. I like Trevor Plouffe well enough, but I don’t see him as a left fielder. Revere’s predicted problems may come from underuse, not making enough of the chances he gets, or some synergy of the two, but it seems part of the argument, that I agree with a bit, is that bench player is, at best, a terrible way to figure out Revere’s skills and worth to the team, and at worst, a successful way to ruin his season and a waste of a player with some potential skills, even if he isn’t the total package.

  6. Lisatwink,
    I may have used Revere’s playing time as a crutch here, but I don’t think that he’s likely to throw out guys at the plate or reach base 1/3 of the time, regardless of his playing time. He’s likely going to improve in 2012, but as I mentioned in a previous comment, I think his best value to the Twins is a trade chip, especially if the Twins are reluctant to move Willingham to RF, there just isn’t room for him.