2015 Best/Worst Case: Ben Revere


With the season fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of team the Phillies may have in 2015. This look at Ben Revere is the third in the series of articles speculating on a best and worst case scenario for each player that is likely to be on the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies squad.

Today’s Player: CF #2 Ben Revere

Ben Revere is possibly the most mysterious out of all the Phillies’ outfielders. He has hit higher than .300 each season with the Phillies, and even led the National League in hits last year with 184. In addition, Revere was fourth in the major leagues last season with 49 stolen bases. With numbers like that, you would think Revere would be among the most valuable center fielders in the league.

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The reason that I describe Revere as “mysterious” is that those numbers are misleading, not representative of his true overall worth. Looking more closely at his hits, 162 out of the 184 were singles, and Revere only drove in 28 RBIs.

His batting average and base running are nice. But when factoring in his four errors and a lack of extra base hits, Revere only had a .2 wins above replacement, and accounted for 13 fewer runs than the average league player. Those numbers make Revere quite the enigma, and they also make him very difficult to predict.

Best Case Scenario: .315/3 homers/45 RBIs/ one error and 60 stolen bases

Revere’s main contribution comes on the base paths. The speedster has a legitimate shot at leading the league in stolen bases, but only if he can continue getting those singles. The more he gets on base, the more steals he will have, the more runs he can generate, the more valuable he is.

Without the extra base hits, he has to learn how to get into scoring position more consistently, and the road to more runs is more steals. In 2014 he scored 71 times, compared to just 37 in 2013. This was a result of his 27 more steals in 2014, but also a reflection of his having played in twice as many games in 2014 as he did in 2013. 

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In terms of Revere’s statistics, I don’t really see them changing very much over the last two years. I can perhaps see him hitting for a slightly higher average, but it will be difficult for him to drive in many more runs from the leadoff spot, and there is no way Revere hits more than a few home runs.

If Revere can make it through the season with only one error, then he would increase his overall worth. Between the higher fielding percentage and the higher number of stolen bases, he would see his WAR go up. His best year with the Twins was in 2012 when he started 118 games, had 0 errors, and had 40 stolen bases. The best case for him would be to have a similar year in 2015.

Worst Case Scenario: .285/0 homers/20 RBIs/ 6 errors and 30 stolen bases

Now the two lines don’t look immensely different. The average is still relatively high and the home runs are obviously low. The main difference you see comes in the stolen base and error numbers. Revere’s worst career year came in 2011 when he had 7 errors and 34 stolen bases. With those numbers down, Revere’s value was down.

Last year, my hamstring [shut] down, my quads were weak. Now, I’m getting all my strength back” ~ Ben Revere

In his time in Philadelphia, Revere has been a pretty consistent singles hitter, which reflects in his batting average. That is not likely to change. Last year, however, Revere over-pursued a few fly balls on defense, which led to a few errors. Revere needs to lock down his fielding or he could be in trouble of eventually losing his starting job.

Brandon Wise at CBSSports.com reported that some of Revere’s struggles in 2014 may have been physical in nature. When interviewed, the Phils center fielder had this to say on his recovery from 2013 ankle surgery: “It’s fully healed now. I can do everything. I can do power lifting. I couldn’t even squat last year. I’m squatting 400 pounds now. Last year, my hamstring [shut] down, my quads were weak. Now, I’m getting all my strength back.”

Revere’s biggest asset is his speed. If he can use that speed to get to more balls, commit fewer errors, and steal more bases, then Revere will be the obvious starter in centerfield. If he commits a few more errors and steals fewer bases, people will begin pointing to that wins above replacement number, and start questioning Revere’s role with this franchise.