Ben Revere has been given a lot of credit for the Twins run through June and early July. He has been called an instigator, a leader, and many other superlatives. Revere has been a polarizing prospect since the Twins used their 1st round pick in the 2007 MLB Draft. At that time, he was known as the fastest high school player available in that draft. However, “Experts” thought he would be taken in the 2nd or 3rd round. So when the Twins used the 28th overall pick on Revere, many experts thought the Twins reached. The Twins were accused of being cheap, especially when Revere agreed to sign for “just” $750,000.
Since signing, Revere has done his best to prove the Twins were right in showing such high confidence in him. As a 19 year old in the GCL, he hit .325/.388/.461. He flirted with .400 most of the 2008 season in Beloit and ended the season at .379/.433/.497. In 2009 in Ft. Myers, he hit .311/.372/.369. Last year in New Britain, he hit .305/.371/.363 and played in 13 games for the Twins in September. In 32 games in Triple-A Rochester this year, he hit .303/.338/.364.
Revere does a lot very well! As you can see, and we have all seen, he can hit for a good batting average. He has incredible, game-changing speed. That is a positive in getting a lot of his singles, in stealing bases, and scoring from 1B on a double. Defensively, he gives the Twins the kind of range in centerfield that we haven’t seen since Carlos Gomez was sent to the Brewers.
There is no question that Revere will be a big part of the Twins lineup for years to come. But how good will he or can he be? That will likely depend upon how much he can improve the areas of the game in which he is the weakest. Here are the concerns with Revere:
- His throwing arm – Every report we heard about Revere in his minor league career mentioned his weak arm. He have now seen plenty of the arm and understand that it is weak. Can it be improved? Well, it will never be a good arm, for sure, but if he can make minimal improvements and be accurate, it should not hurt the team much. Also, in centerfield, his plus-plus range far outweighs his lock of arm strength.
- Power – The Twins insisted when they drafted Revere and since then that they believe that he will hit for some power as he develops. That sentiment has not been voiced as much in recent years. Revere has a nice swing and will get his share of doubles and triples, but he will never be a home run hitter. He will be a top or bottom of the order hitter, so home run power is really not a necessity.
- On-Base Percentage – In 214 big league plate appearances, Revere has posted an on-base percentage of just .297. That is not a good number for a ninth-place hitter much less a leadoff hitter.
- Isolated Discipline – This is simply the On-Base Percentage minus the Batting Average. It shows how much a player’s OBP is based on batting average, or if they walk a lot and still get on base. Here are his IsoD’s since that 2007 in the GCL, .063, .054, .061, .066, .035. In his time with the Twins, he has an IsoD of .038. Ideally, he will be able to bring his IsoD back up over .050 as it was through AA. However, the .035 in Rochester and the .038 with the Twins can be alarming. Why? Because if he maintains that, he will need to hit about .330 to approach Denard Span’s career on-base percentage of .367. If he hits .260, he will struggle to post a .300 OBP.
What is really exciting is that Revere has had a big impact on the Twins on the field and seemingly has been a spark for the lineup without putting up strong offensive numbers. That bodes well for when he does learn this game more, gets more plate appearances and gets more comfortable.
Often when people talk about a good comparison for Revere, the name Juan Pierre comes up. That is generally mocked and ridiculed because of the horrific contract he signed about five years ago (5 years, $50 million). I generally think that it is a very good comparison for Revere, and hope that he can put up the types of numbers that Pierre did his first five or six seasons in the big leagues, primarily with Colorado and Florida. He had a big impact on the Marlins when he was knocking out 200+ hits a season and stealing 50+ bases. That is the type of player that Ben Revere can be. Like him or not, Pierre has been a big leaguer now for 12 seasons.
How similar are the two?
Here is a look at their minor league stats:
Juan Pierre – 1452 plate appearances (parts of 4 seasons) - .331/.379/.393 (.771) with 54 doubles, 12 triples, one home run and 151 SB in 192 attempts (78.6%)
Ben Revere – 1,654 plate appearances (parts of 5 seasons) - .326/.385/.408 (.793) with 49 doubles, 29 triples, five home runs and 154 SB in 208 attempts (74.0%)
I would say those are pretty similar numbers. Pierre made his debut with the Rockies just before his 23rd birthday. Revere debuted with the Twins last year as a 22 year old. I Pierre’s first season, 2000, he accumulated 219 plate appearances in 51 games. Through the All-Star break, Revere has now accumulated 219 plate appearances in 63 games.
Here are each of their numbers through their first 219 Major League plate appearances:
Juan Pierre - .310/.353/.320 (.673) with two doubles, no triples, no home runs. He was 7/13 in SB attempts (53.8%) and had 13 walks and 15 strikeouts.
Ben Revere -.262/.300/.291 (.591) with four doubles, one triple, no home runs. He has been 11/17 in SB attempts (64.7%) and had ten walks and 21 strikeouts.
The Twins have control of Ben Revere probably through the end of the 2016 season, and he can be a very key component to the Twins success. That will put him to the age of 28. At that point, the Twins will have an interesting decision. Since Pierre turned 28, he has had just one season with an on-base percentage above .341. Defensively, it would appear that although neither can throw, Revere is a better defender.
Who knows what the future holds for Ben Revere? Despite very poor offensive numbers to this point, he has had a tremendous impact on the Twins since his return to the big leagues in early June. There is no disputing that. His range and his speed are incredible. He can flat-out hit singles. His exuberance is catchy. How good can he become? The arm isn’t going to get much (if any better). The power likely will not come in terms of home runs, but if he can knock 25-30 doubles a year and maybe 8-12 triples, that would be wonderful.
When people compare him to Juan Pierre, it is generally considered negative. In my mind, I think it should be considered a positive if he is for the Twins what Pierre was for the Rockies and Marlins early in his career.
- Parker posted some Quick Hits including discussing the demoted Demoted Renes, and the Promoted Plouffe and Young, Span and more.
- Nick asked Can History Repeat? In it, he compares the 2011 Twins team to the 2003 Twins team.
- Seth hosted the SethSpeaks.net Sunday Night Twins podcast last night with guest Cody Christie (North Dakota Twins Fan). They updated on the goings on at the Futures Game, with the twins and their minor league affiliates, and then they did a Three Up, Three Down segment in which each picked the top three good and the top three bad things for the Twins in the season’s first half.
- Tonight at 10, Seth and Travis Aune (Travis Twins Talk) will co-host Twins Minor League Weekly and discuss the Twins affiliates, and which players are hot and not, and much more. The two will be heading to Beloit, Wisconsin this weekend for Snappers games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If anyone would be interested in making that 5 ½ hour trek from the Twin Cities to Beloit for some Snappers games this weekend, be sure to check out the Beloit Snappers website and if you do order tickets, be sure to mention SethSpeaks.net and Seth will donate $5 to the charity of the Snappers choice.
- Seth will be posting the minor league scoreboard and highlights and some more links.
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