Phillies’ Ben Revere Could be Upgrade for Contenders


Could Phillies‘ fans be underrating Ben Revere?

The Major League Trade Deadline is quickly approaching and a vast majority of the attention will shift to Philadelphia. The Phillies currently reside in the cellar of the National League East and it appears they won’t be leaving that position any time soon. The national media constantly looks at Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon as their main trade assets, which is totally fair. But they are sleeping on another asset. That asset would be Ben Revere, who is having himself a career year while playing all three outfield positions.

If I told you that you could acquire a player who could hit .300 and swipe 50 bases, what would you say? I bet you would be interested in that asset.

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The issue with Revere is that everyone looks at his lack of power and immediately becomes disgusted. Not everyone is going to hit home runs. The real key is run creation and production, which Revere has done at a league average this season. As of today, Revere has a 99 wRC+, according to FanGraphs. Right now, there are 11 teams with an outfield production less than Revere’s 99 wRC+. Of those teams, I would say five to six could still contend. Those five to six are the Giants, Braves, Orioles, Cubs, Mets and Twins. I don’t see the Braves, Mets or Giants making a move for Revere, but they fall into the category.

Staying on the offensive end, Revere does fall short in the category of OPS. (In the event you do not know, OPS is a player’ on base percentage plus slugging percentage.) If you have watched Revere play, this really should not be much of a shock as Revere doesn’t possess much power. In terms of batting average, Revere is well-above league average for outfielders at .293. The league average batting average for outfielders in .259 this season, so point for Revere.

Another knock on Revere is his on-base percentage, but Revere has improved on that this season. In 2014, Revere’s walk-rate was just 2.1. This season, Revere is walking in 5.4-percent of his plate appearances. That has led to Revere upping his OBP to .333. The average outfielder in 2015 possesses an OBP of .322. That is yet another plus for Revere.

The wRC+ isn’t the only area of improvement that Revere could provide to a team. On the bases, Revere is a threat. That is well-known throughout the league. This season, Revere has 20 stolen bases—which is more than the Marlins, Mets, Indians, Mariners, Angels, White Sox, Orioles and Dodgers. The Orioles appear yet again on the list of benefits from Revere (interesting). The Angels were also linked to Revere before calling it quits on a deal.

Run creation comes on the base paths, and while it can also be destroyed by poor base running, that isn’t Revere. This year, Revere is 20-for-25 in stolen base attempts, which is 80-percent. This year, the league stolen base percentage for outfielders is 72-percent. So Revere is an above-average base stealer compared the other outfielders in baseball.

There is no doubt Revere has his offensive flaws and will never be a double-digit home run guy—but is that really what you should expect from him? I would say no. As a base-stealer, you need Revere to reach base with the opportunity to do damage on the base paths. That can come in the form of a stolen base or taking the extra base on a ball in-the-gap.

The Phillies decided that they were going to move Revere to a corner outfield spot when they added Odubel Herrera this past season. To this point, that has worked out well on the defensive end. So far in 2015, Revere has four defensive runs saved while playing all three outfield positions, and has yet to make an error in 642.1 innings. Despite a -2 defensive runs saved in right-field, Revere has shown that he can handle the position as he had 11 defensive runs saved in 2012 with the Twins.

In terms of overall value, Revere has been 1.6 Wins above Replacement this season. That total is good enough for 32nd among outfielders. As of today, there are 11 teams have more than one outfielder who has been worth 1.5-WAR or greater. That shows that there is room for improvement on several teams in the league, and they could use Revere in some capacity.

The following is a list of notable players with a WAR less than Revere:

While you may prefer some of these players over Revere, he does have a better WAR total than they do to this point in the season. Another plus for Revere is that he is cheap. This year, Revere is set to make $4.1 million, which I would consider a fair price for a player who could hit .300 and steal 45 to 50 bases. Revere will also be in arbitration years two and three in ’16 and ’17, so the price should not get too high.

Ultimately, I believe that Revere could be a solid outfielder for a contender. I am not saying he is going to be a cornerstone for a team, but a threat at the top of the order.

If the Angels wanted to take Revere and plug him into the top of their lineup, that could add some extra opportunities for Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. In that lineup, Revere’s 99 wRC+ would rank fifth best around their core four of Trout, Pujols, Kole Calhoun and David Freese. Revere would also have the third highest OBP on the Angels, behind Pujols and Trout. A move here would make sense.

The Chicago Cubs have looked into Revere, who would also be an upgrade. Right now the Cubs are playing Jorge Soler, Dexter Fowler and Chris Coghlan. Revere has a higher batting average than all three of these outfielders but trails only Coghlan in OBP. Actually, Coghlan has been the best of the group, but Soler has missed time to injury. The Cubs looking to make a deal and put Revere in center would make sense. Fowler is just 0.7-WAR this season with an OPS of just .683—which is very poor. Not to add insult to injury, but Fowler is also -4 defensive runs saved in center. A lineup with Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Soler could benefit from having Revere at the top of their lineup.

Earlier in the article, I listed a few teams that would benefit from Revere and the Orioles were listed. Personally, I am not sure this is a fit because of their current personnel. The Orioles have Adam Jones, who isn’t going to be replaced by Revere so let’s focus on the corners. Currently they are trying to move Delmon Young, but he really isn’t that good (-0.5-WAR). Travis Snider, Steve Pearce and Chris Parmelee have all played the outfield this year. I believe Baltimore is content with those guys in the outfield. Also, they have messed around with Chris Davis in the outfield. While it may not work, I think Baltimore will focus on pitching and not an outfielder at the deadline.

Earlier this week, the Royals lost Alex Gordon to a groin injury. This injury could end the season for Gordon. The Royals need to find a way to replace their All-Star outfielder, and Revere could be an option. As of today, I think Jarrod Dyson is the way to go for the Royals. If I had to make a guess, I think that Kansas City would seek a power bat over Revere, who is similar in skills to Revere.

The trade deadline is going to be a very busy time in Philadelphia. There is no doubt that the main attractions will be Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon, but there is another asset to focus on. Ben Revere is not going to be a cornerstone for a franchise, but he certainly holds value. This season has been a breakout year for Revere, who still is just 27-years old. At the deadline, there are several teams that could upgrade their lineups and defense by acquiring the Phillies outfielder. While the name value may not be sexy, the real focus should be on upgrading your team and lineup and acquiring Revere may help to do that.

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