Phillies Stay or Go: Ben Revere


Over the next two weeks, we'll take a look at Phillies on the bubble -- players who may or not may not return in 2015 because of their contract situation or a desire by the team to move on.

Ben Revere, center field

Age: 26
Contract: Revere is arbitration eligible. Last winter he signed a one-year, $1.95 million deal to avoid arbitration with the Phillies.

2014 season
Revere made a slight run at a batting title, grabbing the lead with a .316 average following a five-game stretch when he went 12 for 23. That was the high point for Revere, who finished the season going 22 for 89 (.247) in the final 22 games of the season.

Instead of becoming the first Phillie to win a batting title since Richie Ashburn in 1958, Revere faded to .306 to finish fifth in the batting race.

All was not lost, though. Revere led the National League with 184 hits and established new career-bests in games (151), runs (71), doubles (13), triples (7), stolen bases (49) and homers (2).

However, there was a lot lacking in Revere’s game in 2014. He walked just 13 times in 626 plate appearances, which means the opposition barely regarded him as an extra-base threat. Additionally, his arm strength (or lack thereof) in the outfield was the cause of much derision and amusement from a certain segment of the fandom. Revere’s ability to track down fly balls in the outfield improved as the season progressed, but he never fooled anyone as the second-coming of Garry Maddox.

Signature game of 2014
During the stretch where Revere went 13 for 23 to close August and open September, the centerfielder showed off a bit of what little power he has. On Sept. 5, Revere hit a game-tying homer with two outs and two strikes in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. In the 11th inning, Revere singled home another run as the Phils hung on for a 9-8 victory.

Revere went 3 for 5 with three RBIs, a double, walk and the homer in what ended up being his high point of the season.

In May, Revere hit his first big league homer, which came on his 1,466th at-bat (1,565 plate appearance). It was the longest homer-less streak to start a career since Frank Tavares of the Pirates went 1,594 at-bats without a homer from 1972-77.

Stay or go?
Though Revere really isn’t the most ideal leadoff hitter — or centerfielder, for that matter — the Phillies don’t have too many other options. Moreover, if the Phillies offer arbitration to Revere, his contract won’t be too costly.

So yes, expect Revere back in 2015.

But expect Revere back in 2015 with some improvements to his game. Though he swiped 49 bases in 2014, he isn’t a savvy base runner. And though his on-base percentage isn’t as terrible as people make it out to be (.325), it is somewhat lacking for a top of the order threat. Revere isn’t going to walk much until he can prove he can hit with some semblance of power and in 2014 (excluding homers), he hit just three fly balls to the warning track.

Until he becomes an extra-base threat, what you see is what you get with Ben Revere.

What they’re saying …
“He’s been fun to watch. He’s been a spark plug for us, getting on base and showing what he can do. He’s making the most out of his chances and showing what he can do with the bat. If he can maintain this and continue it, he can certainly [win the batting title].”
- Ryne Sandberg, Aug. 18, 2014

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