Photo: TC Starlight
So, after reading some reports and watching some video, here’s the scouting report on Ben Revere:
Contact hitting: Good. He batted .297 and only struck out 47 times in 511 at-bats last season. But, as pointed out by Corey Seidman of CSN, he hits ground balls 66% of the time, which is historically bad (though his speed is a mitigating factor which we’ll get to in a second).
Yes, he bats left-handed. But he hit .314 against lefties vs. .284 against righties in 2012. So that’s not much of an issue.
My take: For years now the Phillies have needed a fast, contact hitter. Revere is that. He’s also only 24 and will likely improve in all facets of the game. The ground ball rate is troubling, but he still batted .297 and his BABIP (average on balls put in-play), though a bit higher than the norm of .290-.310, .325, isn’t extreme by any measure. He’s not a true .300 hitter yet. But again, he’s 24.
Power hitting: Non-existent. He didn’t hit a home run with the Twins. He’ll likely bulk up a bit and square up a few balls at CBP, but don’t expect him to hit home runs or drive in runners at any substantial rate.
My take: It’s not his role.
Speed: Amazing. He stole 40 bases last season and was only thrown out nine times. Compare that to Juan Pierre at age 24– he led the league by being thrown out 20 times (he led the league four-straight seasons). Last year, Pierre stole 37 bases and only got caught seven times. Like a fine wine, he got better with age. Michael Bourn? Caught 13 times last year, leading the league. So Revere is not only fast, but he’s also a smart baserunner. And some of those ground balls will turn into hits.
He’s blinding fast. His 60-yard dash time, a metric used by pro scouts, is among the fastest ever. Plus he has the endorsement of Kevin Frandsen, which is all that really matters:
— Kevin Frandsen (@KevinFrandsen) December 6, 2012
My take: You won’t find a faster player, and – surprise! – he’s a smart baserunner, too. Perfect for the top of the order. Something the Phillies need since Chase Utley has no knees, Ryan Howard is fat again, Carlos Ruiz won’t be on Adderall and I Don’t Know’s on third.
Fielding: To steal a line from the great Peter Laviolette, pretty fucking good. He didn’t make an error in 2012. He’s fast enough to get to balls and he catches them. There’s more to it than that, but on the surface, he’s above average in center field. He had the play of the year in 2011 (seen in our Winter Meetings Running Commentary) and is nominated for play of the year in 2012.
My take: Status quo. Shane Victorino was outstanding, and I actually thought John Mayberry tracked the ball very well. Marginal gain, maybe more.
Arm: Not good. This article says he has one of the weakest arms in baseball. Here’s what the Twins GM had to say about him before the start of last season:
"I like Ben. I like Benny a lot. His arm strength is not going to hold him from making this ball club. Don't worry about that. He's got other attributes that he provides for this club besides worrying about his arm so much. There's a lot of guys in the major leagues that had pretty good careers that don't necessarily throw well."
That said, he covers more ground than most fielders, so it makes up for it a bit… until he tries to throw out a runner tagging up from third. Oh.
My take: Three out of five tools ain’t bad.
A YouTube highlight video of Revere, which will undoubtedly disappear in about 10 minutes, and a video of him talking about being traded to the Phillies, after the jump.
H/T to Vince on the Facebook page