The administration of Ruben Amaro Jr. as the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies has been one wrought with big signings and blockbuster trades. Names like Raul Ibanez, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence and Jonathan Papelbon have all donned the red pinstripes since Amaro took over in 2009. As such, fans have become accustomed to the Phillies being big players on the free agent market every offseason. This offseason was no different with names such as Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury available to the highest bidder.
The Phillies’ 2013 outfield was, to be blunt, atrocious. Rotating through the likes of Delmon Young, Roger Bernadina, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez, John Mayberry, Casper Wells and even Michael Martinez, outfield offensive production was in the bottom half of the league in most categories. Once the season came to a close, fans clamored for an outfield upgrade to put next to Dominic Brown, and that clamor centered around the 30-year-old Ellsbury at the expense of Ben Revere.
On a team built to win yesterday with players past their prime, many expected Revere, a center fielder that cost them their No. 4 starter and their top pitching prospect in a trade, to play like a player in his prime and produce right away. What is easy to forget, however, is that Ben Revere played a majority of the 2013 season at the tender age of 25, the youngest everyday player on the roster. While playing a shortened season due to injury, Revere hit .305, stole 22 bases and scored 37 times. These numbers are not earth-shattering, but they certainly provide promise for such a young player.
Due to the fact that Revere was added by trade rather than drafted and developed at home, it is easy for fans to disregard him as a young player on the rise and instead label him a trade bust. This would be shortsighted. The Phillies need youth, speed and energy – all traits that Revere provides. It shouldn’t matter that he was developed in another team’s farm system; he is the closest thing the Phillies have to a successful prospect with the exception of Domonic Brown. Viewed through this prism it would be unwise for fans or the team to give up on him at such a young age, especially considering the leash Brown was given through a skeptical first few years in the majors. Philadelphia is desperate for a prospect success story. Despite the fact that Revere was not drafted a Phillie, he may just be the next one.