Twins' Revere close to joining leaders

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 7, 2012 - 10:45 PM

The right fielder is hitting .329 and has a 21-game hitting streak. Soon, he'll have enough plate appearances to be among the AL leaders.

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Ben Revere's hitting, baserunning and defense have giving the Twins a lift.

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CLEVELAND - Twins right fielder Ben Revere isn't listed with the American League batting leaders yet, but at the rate he's going, that could happen by this weekend.

Revere extended his hitting streak to 21 games Tuesday, going 1-for-5 to leave his average at .329. That's the longest hitting streak for the Twins since Torii Hunter had a 23-gamer in 2007.

A player needs 3.1 plate appearances per games his team has played to qualify for the leaderboard, and after 110 games, that number for the Twins is 341. After spending time at Class AAA Rochester early in the season, Revere has 337 plate appearances.

Revere batted .267 in 117 games for the Twins last year, but he was a .326 hitter coming through the minors, so his success hasn't been overly surprising for the Twins.

"I was ticked off with the year I had last year," Revere said. "I was not impressed, and I wanted to come back and improve. I got a chance to play a lot more in Triple-A [this year], and I got a chance to watch films of what I was doing wrong."

Revere said he was trapping his hands behind his head, which created a longer swing path to the ball. The Twins want Revere to be more patient at the plate. His walk rate was 5.4 percent last year and has dipped to 4.2 percent this year, but sitting in the No. 2 spot of the batting order, pitchers are going to challenge him.

"I'm batting in front of the big man, Joe Mauer, so [opposing pitchers] don't want me to get on base because they know he can drive me in." Revere said. "So it's just me kind of having to be more patient, finding a pitch to hit."

Eyeing Rochester ties

Twins minor league director Jim Rantz is watching Class AAA Rochester play this week, and he's been pleased to see that team get back into playoff contention. Entering Tuesday, they were 39-27 since May 28, when they were sitting 20-30.

"It's a credit not only to the players that are here, but also to the staff that kept it together," Rantz said, referencing manager Gene Glynn, hitting coach Tom Brunansky and pitching coach Bobby Cuellar.

The Twins' agreement with Rochester expires this season, but Rantz said talks should begin soon about a possible renewal.

"We like our relationship here -- not only the facility but the good people in the front office," Rantz said. "They've kind of been an iconic franchise in this league, and geographically, this is a good fit for us in the East, close to [Class AA] New Britain."

Buxton, Berrios move up

The Twins promoted this year's first-round pick Byron Buxton and supplemental first-round pick Jose Berrios from their Gulf Coast League affiliate to rookie-level Elizabethton.

Buxton, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, batted .216 with a .324 on-base percentage and four home runs in 27 GCL games.

Berrios, the No. 32 overall pick, posted a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 innings in the GCL, racking up 27 strikeouts and only three walks.

Etc.

Carl Pavano (sore shoulder) began a minor-league rehab stint for Class A Fort Myers, allowing one run on two hits in two innings, with no walks and one strikeout. Marlins prospect Marcell Ozuna homered off Pavano in the first inning.

Trevor Plouffe (bruised right thumb) played catch and ran the bases at Target Field and plans to try swinging a bat again Wednesday.

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