One of the more important pieces to the Philadelphia Phillies‘ offensive success in 2014 is a guy who hasn’t even hit a home run in his big league career.
Center fielder Ben Revere, who is in his second year with the team, isn’t going to intimidate anyone when he steps into the batter’s box. He’s a non-existent threat to hit the long ball, and even if he were to get a hold of a pitch, the outcome won’t do much damage.
Instead, Revere excels in getting on base the easy way. He’s a very good contact hitter, who challenges the oppositions’ infielders on even the most routine of ground balls. He won’t strike out much, either — last season, he averaged one punchout every nine at-bats. Although his 2013 campaign was cut in half due to injury, he still turned in a very respectable .338 on base percentage in limited time.
The current season is only five games old, but Revere has reached base in all three of Philadelphia’s wins. He wasn’t as successful in the other two games, which happen to be the Phillies’ only two losses.
When he gets on, Revere’s danger level heightens. One of the MLB‘s fastest players, he’s a constant threat to steal bases. He’s swiped three bags so far this season, and his career numbers suggest he’ll succeed on nearly 80 percent of his attempts.
Pitchers need to be extra careful with Revere on base, and this in turn helps provide some support to the Phillies’ hitters. The mental distraction of having to deal with such a dangerous runner could be just enough for a pitcher to make a mistake with a guy like Chase Utley or Ryan Howard.
Who cares if Revere never hits a home run, because in truth it doesn’t really matter. As long as he’s constantly getting on base and causing problems on the basepaths, he’s as important to the Phillies offensive output as any other player in the lineup.