Lost in all of this depressing talk about the Philadelphia Phillies fielding the oldest team in baseball is at least one uplifting fact: The team has quietly put together a pretty good outfield.
In fact, it could be one of the best in baseball. Consider this: The Phils have a guy who hit around .300 in each of the last two seasons in Ben Revere in center and decent power numbers at the corners from Marlon Byrd and Domonic Brown. Revere and Brown are fully recovered after each almost missed half of last year’s season with injuries.
Revere could be a table-setter for the offense with his ability to draw walks and create havoc on the base paths with his steals.
Byrd hit 24 homers with 88 RBIs and a .291 average and, at the other corner, Brown slammed 27 homers with 83 RBIs and a .272 average. With those kind of power numbers, the Phillies can get away with having a slap hitter like Revere in center, who hit .294 for the Minnesota Twins in 2012 and .305 for the Phillies in 2013.
For a team that was forced to play guys like Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez and John Mayberry Jr. for long stretches last year, this is a considerable upgrade. The Phillies are a better team when those guys are backups, not starters. The caveat in all of this, though, is that Byrd is 36 and 245 pounds. The Phillies cannot do anything about his age, but would like him to drop a few pounds by April in order to increase his defensive range and his offensive ability on the base paths.
If that happens and if Brown and Revere can stay healthy, this has a chance to be one of the most productive outfields in baseball.