Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ben Revere: The New Phillie

By SAMUEL BOTWINICK  |  Staff Writer
@avdbkr20samuel

The Phillies have appeared to solidify the center field position, at least for the time being.  This comes in the form of the glove and speed of Ben Revere, the player traded to the Phillies in exchange for former Phillies' pitchers, Vance Worley and Trevor May.  Second, and as important as his glove, is his bat, although do not expect many home runs (if any) from him.

Revere is noted for his ability to slap the ball to all parts of the field, and then use his tremendous speed to beat out virtually any ground ball.  In fact, in 2012, his 66.9% ground ball rate was the highest in the league.  This translates into putting a lot of balls in play, where it often becomes his speed vs. the fielder's arm.

In addition, in 2012, Revere ranked well below the league average in strikeouts per season (119), with a eye-popping 64.  This means that Revere makes a lot of contact and barely misses the ball, which results in an excess of potential hits.

This is where Revere struggles: he walked only six times in 67 spring plate appearances, with the Twins, in 2012.

In spring 2013, with the Phillies so far, Revere has walked, even fewer times, twice in 40 plate appearances.

To put this into perspective, Revere walked more times in 2011 (3) in fewer plate appearances (39) than in 2013.

Interestingly, while Revere's on base percentage in spring 2013 has decreased to .357 from .370 in spring 2012, his batting average has increased from .313 in spring 2012 to .325 so far this spring.     

This is an important statistic when considering Revere's ability to get on base.

Looking at his spring stats from 2013, Revere is on pace to potentially get five more hits than his total from last spring, with 26.  This shows that he is getting more hits and not just benefiting from the diminished number of walks that he has.   

Charlie Manuel, the Phillies manager, had this to say about Revere after watching a few spring training games.

"He looks like a good player. He looks like a good offensive player, and he definitely can go get the ball in center field." 

Overall, Manuel thought that Revere brought a sense of "coolness" and calmness to the clubhouse.

"He's going to be good because he'll bring some laughter to the guys and definitely help them stay relaxed."

-  Samuel Botwinick is a staff writer for the Philadelphia Baseball Review.  Contact him at sbotwinick@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @avdbkr20samuel on twitter.

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