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RandBall: Ben Revere and the batting title

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • August 7, 2012 - 12:29 PM

 

Somewhat quietly, particularly on a national level, Ben Revere has pushed his batting average all the way up to .331. He is hitting .388 during his 20-game hitting streak and he has four 4-hit games since June 22, including one last night.

 

It's flown under the radar a bit because Revere doesn't hit home runs and he even spent part of the season in Rochester after beginning it with the big club (the Twins are 35-33 in games he has played since his recall, by the way). But the biggest factor, we would imagine, is that he doesn't have enough plate appearances yet to qualify for the batting race. That should change very soon, and when it does we will likely start hearing a lot more about Revere nationally.

For those who don't know, a player needs 3.1 plate appearances per game his team has played to qualify for the batting race. That has been the somewhat arbitrary standard since 1957, and you can read more about how it evolved per Wiki. For the course of a 162-game season, that works out to 502 plate appearances, which admittedly is a pretty fair number.

Revere, as of now, has 331 plate appearances for the season, and the Twins have played 109 games. So he's averaging 3.04 plate appearances per Twins game. If he plays in each of the next five games and gets 23 total plate appearances -- five PAs in three of them, four in the other two, which seems reasonable even though PAs can be a little tougher to come by at home (Twins are back at Target Field on Friday) since the home team doesn't bat in the ninth if they are ahead -- he will reach the threshold of 3.1 per game. And if he keeps hitting even somewhat like he has lately in those handful of games, he will immediately vault into the official batting race.

His .331 mark right now would put him second in the AL behind Mike Trout of the Angels, who had two more hits last night to push him up to .348. Trout's devastating combo of power and speed might make him tough to overcome, but as you saw last night, Revere can get hits in a lot of different ways even though he has never hit the ball over the fence in his MLB career. He is a line drive machine, but he also has 31 infield hits this season because of his speed. He turned a check swing into an infield hit last night by simply outrunning the ball. He also likely gets the benefit of hit/error rulings on tough infield plays because of his speed and the pressure it puts on the defense.

Can Revere win a batting title? Of course he can. It would be a crazy story. We're not sure how many players have been demoted to Class AAA in-season and come back to win a batting title. Will he? Well, it's not a crazy thought, but it's not probable. Still, he should at least have a high finish -- while further solidifying his role with the big league club.

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