Revere has tough task in proving he belongs

Speedy outfielder Ben Revere, up from the minors, faces the added challenge of making an impact on a struggling team.

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Ben Revere has struggled since being called up from Class AAA Rochester, going 3-for-19 in limited duty. He’s trying to stay confident. “I think [the Twins] think I can play up here, and I think I can play up here,’’ Revere said. “I think I can be an everyday player up here.’’

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

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SEATTLE - Ben Revere sits in the dugout during games and patiently waits for the opportunities to prove that he's a major league player.

A pinch hit appearance. A late-inning defensive replacement. A spot start. Revere, a 23-year-old outfielder, will take whatever the Twins give him to show his talents and make a case for staying with the major league club as long as possible.

"I think they think I can play up here, and I think I can play up here," he said. "I think I can be an everyday player up here."

It's tough enough for a young player to prove he belongs in the majors. The added challenge comes when rookies must prove themselves on teams that expect to win but are playing poorly, as the Twins are.

Revere and 10 others have been called up from Class AAA Rochester to replace injured or underperforming players.

"We have so many guys feeling their way through things, trying to stay in the big leagues," Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said. "It is different when you're not worried about losing your job."

Thrown into the fire, Revere is 3-for-19 with one stolen base this year and is batting only .170 in 49 major league plate appearances. He has been unable to secure consistent playing time.

Things could be different in a couple of months if the Twins continue to play poorly and become willing to evaluate young players for the rest of the season. For now, they aren't willing to do that. They still are trying to find ways to ignite a winning streak. So every play counts, and Revere wants to be ready when called upon.

"Hopefully, we get going on the this road trip," Revere said. "If we have a good road trip, I think we can get right back in there. That's the main thing now, is to remain focused."

Revere always has a smile on his face, reminding Twins officials of the late, great Kirby Puckett. But Revere's voice changed as he continued to talk.

"I was with New Britain last year, and we struggled," he said. "I've been through it, but you have to keep playing. You never know."

Revere spent last season playing for a New Britain team that finished 44-98. It's hard to lose 100 of 142 games, but the Rock Cats made a run of it.

"We weren't trying to lose," Revere said. "So ... we have to just keep grinding it out here and hope for the best."

Revere probably is the fastest runner in the organization and covers plenty of ground in the outfield. He's a career .326 hitter the minors, has stolen at least 40 bases in a season twice and has struck out more than 40 times in a season only once. So he makes contact and puts his speed in play.

What he doesn't have is a good arm, despite thousands of long-toss throws and other arm-strengthening attempts. He has learned to get to, and get rid of, baseballs as fast as possible to increase his chance of throwing baserunners out.

He'll get occasional chances to show his skills while with the Twins. But with outfielder Jason Repko (right quadriceps) beginning a rehabilitation assignment at Rochester, Revere might not be in the majors much longer.

Revere will do what he can while he's here to help the Twins rediscover winning.

"Right now I'm thinking about the movie 'Major League,'" Revere said. "The guys come back and go all the way. Right now, I'm keeping the faith."

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