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!