Scoggins: Doubters get Revere in gear at the plate

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 10, 2012 - 9:12 PM

The Twins' 24-year-old right fielder has shown he can hit. Now it's a question of consistency.


Twins outfielder Ben Revere

Photo: Orlin Wagner, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Ben Revere heard whispers that he wasn't ready for major league baseball as he struggled at the plate last season. Too many soft dribblers back to the pitcher led some to wonder if he needed more seasoning in the minors.

"That kind of ticked me off," Revere said. "I [knew] I can play up here. That kind of got me fired up. Right now I'm just like a bulldog, just head-hunting right now."

Not literally, of course. But you get the idea.

Revere's emergence at the top of the Twins lineup helped jump-start the offense the past few months and, more important, gives the organization reason to be optimistic about his ability to produce more than just highlight reel catches in the outfield.

It's probably unrealistic to expect Revere to challenge for the batting title every season -- he should finally reach enough at-bats to qualify among the league leaders this weekend -- but the sample size this season is too large to be considered a fluke. His 21-game hitting streak that ended Wednesday -- and .323 batting average -- didn't just happen by accident.

Now if the Twins would quit delaying the obvious and move Revere to center and put Denard Span in right field ...

"Denard is our center fielder," Revere said.

Whether that alignment changes this offseason or not, Revere has secured his spot in the outfield going forward. He gives the Twins lineup some juice at the plate, on the bases and in the field. He's a 5-9 bundle of energy who plays each game as if it's his first in a major league uniform.

That's just his nature anyway, but he also finds inspiration in Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.

"He seems like he's having fun all the time," Revere said. "I'm just like, why can't I do that? I should be doing that. I think it kind of helps a little bit. Stay loose so you won't be so uptight. Take some of the stress off yourself."

Success can have the same effect. Revere has benefited from tweaks he made to his swing after pinpointing the problem while studying himself on film this offseason. He identified a technical flaw that created a longer swing, which, in turn, caused him to get jammed more and hit too many weak grounders.

"Now, I'm just driving it," he said. "I'm hitting the ball right on the barrel and driving it."

The results are fairly dramatic. He's made better contact, hit more line drives and showed signs of being a more polished hitter. The Twins still would like to see him draw more walks by being more patient. Revere understands that thinking, but he doesn't want to sacrifice any of his aggressiveness in the process.

"People tell me, 'You've got to be patient up there,'" he said. "OK, but then I start taking the best pitch I want. That's when I start striking out. I mean, I'm patient. A lot of pitchers challenge me. They give me pitches to hit every time. They're throwing it right there and just seeing what I'm going to do with it. I'll be patient when I need to be, but if you're going to lay it right there, I'm going to take a hack at it."

That philosophy has worked for him at every stage. Revere hit .326 combined at five different minor league stops. The guy can hit. He should be able to put added pressure on defenses once he gets more comfortable laying down a bunt.

Revere has seven bunt hits this season compared to four last season, but he could utilize that part of his game even more to take advantage of his speed -- he ran the 40 in 4.3 seconds in high school. Revere worked on bunting with Hall of Famer Rod Carew at 7:30 a.m. every day in spring training.

"If I had the ability to bunt like Rod Carew it would be even more crazy," he said. "I'm trying to get to that point. When I do, it will be a lot of fun."

Revere is only 24. His game will continue to develop and evolve. His arm probably will always be a liability in the outfield, but he makes up for that deficiency by using his speed to chase down balls that would otherwise drop for hits.

Now, he's demonstrating that he can hit at this level, too. Enough to become a consistent .300 hitter?

"With his speed and if he keeps swinging the way he is, he can be one of those guys," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He can get hits lots of different ways. But I don't like to put tags on guys. We know Joe Mauer is a .300 hitter. He has a beautiful swing and fantastic eye at the plate. Ben is a little different than that. He's a hacker. He's a swinger. So there's a different way to hit .300, and he's proving that right now. Whether he can continue that and do that for a long time, we'll see."

Chip Scoggins •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Baltimore «00010110X381
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Miller(5-5) L:J.Burton(2-3) S:Z.Britton (30)
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)


NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question