Twins go for speed, take prep outfielder

The team sees a future leadoff hitter in Ben Revere, who was taken with the 28th pick in Thursday's amateur draft.

Ben Revere's measurements scream future Piranha. He's listed at 5-9 and 152 pounds, although his father wanted to straighten a couple things out.

"He's about 5-8½," John Revere said.

OK, what about weight?

"He's closer to 170 than 152," Revere said while laughing.

Revere, an outfielder from Lexington (Ky.) Catholic High School, does have one big number attached to him: 6.28. That's his time in the 60-yard dash, making him one of the fastest high school players in this year's draft.

The Twins, looking for a future leadoff hitter, jumped on that speed and selected Revere with the 28th overall pick Thursday. Ranked the 42nd-best high school prospect by Baseball America, he batted .516 with nine homers and 41 RBI this season with 24 stolen bases.

"I think he would probably outrun anyone we've got," said Mike Radcliff, the Twins' director of scouting. "I don't know who he could not beat in a race."

According to Baseball America, Revere has a good approach at the plate and could develop some power. He has to smooth out some rough edges in the field.

Revere said he got word about mid-afternoon that the Twins were interested in selecting him.

"My adviser [Barry Meister] told me that the Twins were interested in me with the 28th pick," he said. "At that moment, my heart started pounding."

The Twins have until Aug. 15 to sign Revere or lose his rights. Indications are that he and the Twins already are closing in on a deal for around $1 million.

As expected, Vanderbilt lefthander David Price was selected by Tampa Bay with the first overall pick. Kansas City followed with California prep power prospect Mike Moustakas.

Revere has had to figure out how to beat the bigger guys for years. He was a wide receiver and defensive back on the football team where he succeeded by, "juking and jiving," he said.

His big moment came last year in Wilmington, N.C., during a showcase of East Coast baseball prospects. He looked up at most of them, but came away as one of the top players in the field.

"I'm glad I went there," Revere said. "There were like 800 scouts there. It was nice facing lefthanders throwing 98 miles an hour. It was a great experience. It definitely helps you and I know I'm going to see a bunch of that in the minor leagues."

The Twins selected Florida prep catcher-first baseman Danny Rams, who has good power potential, with their second round pick (92nd overall). Outfielder Angel Morales, from Puerto Rico, was selected in the third round.

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