Philadelphia Phillies: Ben Revere’s time to shine

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins before last season to fill the void that was left when they traded away Shane Victorino.  The two have some similarities, as two of the fastest players the Phillies have had in recent years, but Revere is missing some of the skills that Victorino has brought to the team.

Both are related to power, which Revere sorely lacks.  While Victorino is no Babe Ruth, he could hit for power often, and he has one of the strongest arms in the league.  Revere on the other hand has yet to hit a home run in the majors and his arm leaves a lot to be desired.  Despite all of this Revere will be a key player this season for this Phillies.

Revere is still trying to fill the void left by Victorino.

Revere is still trying to fill the void left by Victorino.

Even though his first season with the team was cut short by injury, Revere was able to show enough of what he brings to the team.  Revere’s greatest asset is his speed, which more than makes up for his lack of arm strength as far as defense is concerned.  He made plenty of highlight reel catches last season, and his ability to cover a lot of ground with his speed makes him an asset in the outfield.

His speed and defense are not the only things that Revere brings to the team.  He was able to overcome a slow start last season to become one of the team’s hottest hitters before breaking his foot.  In only 88 games last season, Revere finished with a .305 batting average, scored 37 runs, and stole 22 bases.  The Phillies will need Revere to put up those type of numbers again if they wish to return to the playoffs.

An obvious area where Revere could improve is his lack of power.  While the Phillies do not need Revere to start hitting home runs, they do need him to hit the ball harder.  If Revere could hit the ball harder to the outfield, his amount of extra base hits could increase from his career high of 19 in 2012 with the Twins.  It will no doubt help playing in the hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park instead of the pitcher friendly Target Field.

Something else that Revere brings to the team that is often overlooked is his personality.  He has been referred to by teammates as genuine and energetic.  That energy is good to have in a clubhouse that in recent years has been called too complacent.  By injecting younger players who have not experienced the same success as the team’s core, the Phillies can once again become a team that is hungry for success.

Heading into this season Revere must prove to the Phillies that he is the answer in center field.  He is not being challenged for his starting spot, but if he struggles this season the Phillies may decide to find another center fielder next season.  All Revere has to do is play the way he was last season before his injury.  It should not be difficult for him to do, and I would be willing to say that he will play even better this year.

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