When the Phillies traded Vance Worley and Trevor May to the Minnesota Twins for center fielder Ben Revere, most thought the move was a smart one, although skepticism remained about just how good Revere really was.
Sure, he’s just 25 years old and is coming off a season in which he hit .294/.333/.342 and stole 40 bases while playing superb defense in center, but most believed Revere was just a younger version of Juan Pierre.
Not that that would be a bad thing. Pierre had a long career and played well for the Phils last year. But with all the other center field options this offseason, Revere didn’t seem to offer as much as other possibilities, like B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan.
After all, Revere has never hit a home run in his Major League career and only 19 of his 150 hits went for extra bases last year (13 doubles, 6 triples) last year.
However, some very good news is emerging from Clearwater. Revere has looked fantastic so far in spring training.
What I Liked Today: #Phillies Revere had a great day making hard contact at the plate and showing that plus-plus speed. He’ll help.
— Bernie Pleskoff (@BerniePleskoff) March 12, 2013
In yesterday’s troubling 10-5 loss to the Tigers, Revere was one of the bright spots, continuing his torrid spring by going 3 for 3 with two doubles and three runs scored. In 43 Grapefruit League at-bats, Revere is hitting .372/.400/.465 for an OPS of .865, with four doubles and 10 runs scored. He’s also stolen three bases and has been caught once.
And with Jimmy Rollins playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, Revere has gotten the chance to lead off for the Phillies.
So far… everyone likey.
Of course, when Jimmy returns, Revere will likely no longer lead off, which is a shame given the start he’s gotten off to this spring. But, of course, these are spring stats, so they should be taken with a grain of salt.
Still, Revere has shown a bit more gap power than expected so far, and has gotten on base at a much higher clip than in his first two years in the Majors. Charlie Manuel would be wise to consider Revere in the leadoff spot should Rollins struggle getting on base for much of this year, much like he did for large portions of last year.
Manuel should not delay pulling the trigger on that one anymore.
It’s pretty neat to see the Phils’ new acquisition playing so well down in Clearwater. With all their issues in the outfield, having a capable center fielder means that’s one spot the Phils don’t have to worry about.
And that’s good. You know, one less thing.
At the very least, it sure seems like Ben Revere isn’t going to pull a Ricky Otero on us.