When the news came down that the Philadelphia Phillies had traded for Ben Revere in December, it was clear that the team had finally found their center fielder of the future. They may have been interested in free agents like Michael Bourn, B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan, but Revere will be the man in center this year. So, what can we expect from the man who is the new center of attention in Philadelphia?
First off, they can expect some youth. On an aging team, Revere will be a breath of fresh air. At 24 (he will be 25 in May), he is under team control through 2017, so the Phillies have an affordable player for the next few seasons. Revere finished 2012 with a .294 average, .333 on-base percentage and a .342 slugging percentage. He is a high-contact guy who won’t strike out often–he made contact when he swung 92.6 percent of the time last year, which was third highest in the Majors.
It’s not known where Revere will bat in the Phillies’ lineup, but the leadoff spot seems to be secure with Jimmy Rollins. Putting Revere second would not be a shock, considering he has speed and is a high-contact hitter. In the past two years, he has averaged 37 steals, though he has stated numerous times this off-season that his sights are set on higher numbers in that category.
He will have a heavy load to handle in center field. If Darin Ruf starts in left and if Delmon Young ever sees time in right field, Revere will probably feel like he has to cover two outfield spots instead of one, considering that neither of those guys will be speedsters in the gaps.
Interestingly enough, one of the men that the Phillies lost out on, Upton, was worth 3.3 Wins Above Replacement last year in Tampa Bay. Revere’s WAR was 3.4. He is certainly going to be a valuable commodity for the team in the outfield at a fraction of the cost of what other teams paid to fill center field spots. The Phillies don’t have to count on Revere to be a home run hitter. They have plenty of other guys to do that. That said, they will count on Revere to be an above-average defender and base-stealer. They may have paid a decent price to get Revere (in the form of Vance Worley and prospect Trevor May), but they are hoping that the new man patrolling center will help them forget what they had to give up.