Revere Looking Like a Real Steal

Posted by Pat Egan, Fri, March 28, 2014 09:37 AM | Comments: 21
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

The question on every Phillies fans mind going into the 2012 offseason was: Who would play center field? That question was answered on December 6, 2012. The first tweets started rolling in around noon stating the Phillies got their man. Vance Worley and top prospect Trevor May were dealt to the Minnesota Twins for 24-year-old Ben Revere.

Most Phillies fans were upset. Worley, in his short time in Philly, had become a fan favorite. The “Vanimal,” with the Rec Specs and wild hair, was traded for a player who had never hit a home run and never scored 100 runs. To make matters worse, national writers were weighing in on the trade and awarding an early victory to the Twins.

Most fans argued all winter over who the Phillies should get, and chances are that the name Ben Revere never came up in those conversations. It was either going to be former Phillie draft pick Michael Bourn, or Tampa Bays’ BJ Upton. Upton even came to Philly for a visit, and was being courted by shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Both Upton and Bourn would have cost the Phillies their first round draft pick, a pick they used to select JP Crawford 16th overall in last June’s draft.

It has been over a year now, and as Ian Riccaboni pointed out in our Writers Roundtable, we have a clear winner in the trade.

In his first season with the Twins, Vance Worley went from Opening Day starter to being sent down to AAA Rochester. Worley, who dealt with shoulder problems in his last season with the Phillies, struggled mightily in the AL posting a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts. Out of options, he was outrighted off the 40 man roster and traded to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for cash considerations.

Prospect Trevor May didn’t make the sting of Worley’s bad season any easier on Twins fans. After posting a 4.87 ERA in AA Reading, he returned to the Eastern League with the New Britain Rock Cats. May struggled again in AA posting a 4.51 ERA. For the second straight year, however, he did post over a strikeout-per-inning. Some may argue that May projects better as a reliever rather than a starting pitcher.

At first it looked like the Phillies had acquired a dud. Revere struggled early in his Phillies career, hitting rock bottom on May 4th with a paltry average of .204. Slowly though, Revere started putting together multi-hit games, and was able to raise his average to .305 before breaking his foot on July 13th, an injury which ended his season.

The Ben Revere trade was possibly the most un-Ruben Amaro like move in his tenure. Amaro has never been one to shy away from a big signing, and doesn’t seem to mind giving up draft picks to do so. In 2008, he gave up the team’s first round pick to sign Raul Ibanez. In 2010, he gave up the team’s first round pick to sign Cliff Lee. And in 2011, it was the signing of Jonathan Papelbon that cost the Phillies their first round pick. After a season which saw the team fail to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006, many assumed that Amaro would forfeit the team’s first round pick and sign either Bourn or Upton. Instead, he went with the low key, smart, long term move.

Bourn ended up signing a four-year deal for $48 million with the Indians. His  2013 salary was $7 million, and it was $7 million poorly spent. Bourn’s slash line in 2013 was .263/.316/.360. His 2014 salary will jump to $13.5 million, and he is scheduled to begin the season on the DL.

Phillies fans should be thanking BJ Upton every day for not signing with the Phillies, as he had the worst year of his nine-year career. After signing a 5 year $75.25 million dollar deal, he posted a slash line of .184/.268/.289. His 2013 salary of $12.45 million brought the Braves just 9 homeruns and a mere 26 RBIs. His salary will jump to $13.45 million this season.

Ben Revere, on the other hand, made slightly less than BJ Upton and Michael Bourn. Revere was paid $515,000 for the 2013 season. His slash line was .305/.338/.352. So lets compare that side by side.

BJ Upton: $12.45 million for 391 AB, 30 R, 14 2B, 0 3B, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 12 SB, .184/.268/.289 slash line.

Michael Bourn: $7 million for 525 AB, 75 R, 21 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 50 RBI, 23 SB, .263/.316/.360 slash line.

Ben Revere: $515,000 for 315 AB, 37 R, 9 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 22 SB, .305/.338/.352 slash line.

Obviously, you could argue that Bourn had the best year out of all three, even with a .263 average. However, the Phillies got a .305 hitter who, before his injury, was on pace for 630 at bats, 74 R, 18 2B, 6 3B, and 44 SB. But if you want to be fair, and compare Revere’s on pace production to 525 at bats (Michael Bourns’ number for 2013), your looking at 62 runs scored, 15 2B, 5 3B, and 37 SB. That’s pretty solid production considering Revere made $6.485 million less than Bourn.

I am extremely critical of the job that Ruben Amaro Jr has done during his tenure as Phillies GM, but I cannot praise him enough for the Ben Revere trade. Amaro got a starting centerfielder who is under team control until 2018 for a pitcher who the team sold high, at the right time, and a prospect who has a mid 4 ERA for the second straight year in AA. Revere’s salary will jump up to $1.95 million for 2014. That is $11.55 million less than Michael Bourn will make, and $11.5 million less than BJ Upton. Revere might not have been the sexy name that Phillies fans wanted during the 2012 offseason, but looking at the big picture, it was one of the smartest moves Amaro has made during his tenure as Phillies GM.

Avatar of Pat Egan

About Pat Egan

Pat Egan has written 60 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    I for one did not want them to pursue BJ Upton. I did have a interest in Justin Upton and i did like Bourn on a 3 year deal. Bourn had a mediocre last season and this season he is on the DL. Revere did show a upswing right before he was injured. Lets hope he can keep it up. Assuming he does i do believe we are the winners here. Oh and for the record i was one of the upset fans when Worley was dealt.

  • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

    The one downside of Revere is that he’s not really a great defensive player and his lack of a throwing arm must drive the Phillies’ pitching staff crazy.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      The Phils have the perfect complementary outfield.
      Revere will run after the ball, Byrd will tell him to go left or right and catch it for him, then Brown will peg it back to the infield.
      Okay, that’s a little harsh.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    I don’t know that the real world works exactly like this, but it at least seems like there should be an imperfect line of demarcation amongst 3 groups. They are those directly in the game, those a step away, like the media who have first hand chances to rub shoulders with those in it, and assumedly learn, or at least get exposed to the whys and wherefores, and the fans. Obviously, you have brighter minds within all 3 categories than others, but as a general theme, that’s a fairly decent breakdown.

    If we took it a pace further, those that write for a blog might be closer to the middle group, the media type category, and really oughta be the theoretic notch above the readers.

    But when you have an article that comes to such black and white conclusions, and defies the basic premise of baseball, not to mention any other form of competition, that absolutes are a good thing to stay away from, it speaks poorly for the post. It’s a pretty short time frame to speak definitively, and Revere, who has demonstrated some very good results still isn’t flawless defensively, and there are serious limits to his offensive game in the way of power.

    Sure, the trade looks terrific so far. But will it look as good as it does now with a full season of Revere to watch? Perhaps. Maybe even probably, with maybe being the operative word.

    But for now, in one person’s opinion, drawing firm conclusions that remind of a Brock for Broligio level resutt is as off track as those who feel an urge to contribute messages predicting the Phillies will win 65-70 games, and analogies that bear similarity. Things are rarely as bad as they seem, nor as good as they might feel. Particularly since if the first 100 games go poorly enough, there may be another 60 played with a different enough cast of characters that as they are unknown, it’s tomfoolery to be grasping at straws and essentially think you can pretty specifically forecast a number of wins and state it like you know of what you speak.

    To each their own on how one views the world, but I’ll take my perspective 9 days a week. Don’t let peer pressure coerce you to think you know. If you do know, go for it. But while the Phils don’t look particularly strong, there are enough things that could go right that objectivity seems wise..

    • Posts: 0 Mike B.

      So what you’re saying is that absolutes are always bad? ;)

      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        Maybe it came out that way, and I wouldn’t detach from that terribly, but for me, when there’s pretty visible gray, which of course is subjective, it’s best to try to stay objective, or non absolute. There’s enough “evidence” to see where the ’14 Phils won’t have a terrific year, but I just don’t see where it’s quite blatantly obvious they’ll be terrible. And the reasons to dislike the club aren’t worth repeating, they are obvious, and been hashed over over and over. Conversely, I can see someone being pretty definitive on things like the Dodgers, Cards and Nats winning the division. Whether a person wants to go so far as to predict a win total, to each their own. At least we can assume that with playoff home field at stake for the playoff bound, they will more or less be up and ready for most every game. Veteran club like the Phils as they could be (mediocre), that makes it tougher to call a difference in the 5-10 win range that disinterest, or hum drum of losing might bring on, let alone mid year fire sale type moves.

        But I think an absolute on evaluating a trade after a year (actually less, in a way since Revere played half a year) is jumpy to be absolute about. But it’d be silly not to be open to that being seen as an excellent deal as more time unwinds. But let’s get there first. But as always, a person can think however they wish. Doesn’t do much to excite me about wanting to hear/read more from ‘em, but the world’s not lined up to care what I think of their views. In this paragraph, I started at least 3 sentences with the word but. That’s absolutely bad, but….

    • Posts: 10 Pat Egan

      Avatar of Pat Egan

      First of all, thanks for reading it

      My main point wasn’t that Ben Revere is a future HOFer and this was the biggest steal since Pedro for DeShields, it was that this was the most un-amaro like move in his tenure.

      Ben Revere is never going to be a power hitter, he may hit 1 HR a year if youre lucky. He is never going to have a rocket of an arm either, these are some things we need to live with considering 5 tool players don’t grow on trees.

      A Comparison to Juan Pierre is a good one considering Pierre is a career .295 hitter with over 600 SBs, little to no pop, and not much of an arm. Ill take a young Juan Pierre any day.

      The main point was that the trade is a steal because of the fact that you got a young, starting CFer who is under team control until 2018 and you didn’t go out and sign the big name players available which would have forced them to give up their first round pick.

      Also you did without having to give up much, which is becoming more and more obvious. Could Trevor May turn it around? of course. Has he in two seasons in AA? no.

      Ive been following Ben Revere’s career since he was in High A Fort Myers. I am a bit biased when it comes to him. But Ben Revere will hit .300 this season, he will steal 40-50 bases, and by the end of the year the trade will be black and white if you don’t think it already is. If im wrong, ill eat crow.

      Once again, I appreciate you reading the article. There is little doubt in my mind that everyone is going to be loving Ben Revere by June, with some people still beating the dead horse of “he doesn’t hit HRs and he has a weak arm”.

  • Posts: 0 Frank

    I always thought this trade was a fair one that might even be better for the phillies, especially when you consider we got to keep our draft pick. I’m disappointed with Revere’s defense, but am hopeful he will refine his CF fielding acumen as he ages (he’s still quite young).

    My annoyance at the time was mostly rooted in the notion that I thought Worley and particularly May could be packaged to get something even better than revere, a guy I like, but I’m still thinking is a fringe starter, especially since he isn’t a dynamo defensively. Quotes like that I’ve from Jeff Passan strengthen my sense that we didn’t maximize our return on those damaged goods.

    Looking back, I’m happy we got what we did, but this is a viewpoint worth throwing into the whole situation.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I always thought Worley was garbage… didn’t love them trading May – but so far it looks like it was fine to let him go. Regardless of our record this year – it will at least be interesting to watch the development of Revere, Brown, Asche, Deikman, ….. Rupp, Joseph, Biddle, Crawford, etc. . .

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      Worley, at least for awhile, proved to be a competitive and smart pitcher but one with little room for error in his pitches. The type of guy who couldn’t afford to lose 5% on his control without getting lit up. It could be that, not unlike many marginal young pitchers, he was a victim of a 2nd or 3rd pass through the league and batters finally had his number. Still, he pitched a few great games while here… and a had a equally great haircut.

      I liked the guy’s gumption and I’m sorry his star has fallen.

    • Posts: 2897 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      I liked Worley but also thought he was waaaayyy over-achieving. Maybe not garbage (although now he appears to be just that) but certainly not the 11-3 pitcher that he was in 2012. Personally, I think Pettibone has a better chance of being successful in this league.

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    Revere’s a good kid with a refreshing attitude, and that can be contagious.
    I also believe he hasn’t reached his peak as a hitter, runner or fielder although his arm will probably never improve beyond sub-average.
    Yes, a good trade.
    All credit to Ruben on that one.

    Two of Revere’s biggest problems have been the deficiencies of the fielders to his left and right which in turn has exacerbated his own growing pains as a total player. Hopefully, Byrd will take some of the pressure off of him, not just in the field but also in the power department.

    • Posts: 5434 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      I noticed that he played a couple balls off the wall so far in ST, instead of going for the over the shoulder circus catch. That enabled him to turn and make an accurate throw to his cut off man, and that’s very encouraging to me.

      IMO- A noodle arm isn’t the only reason players were taking extra bases on him. Sometimes, making the conservative play that might allow a run to score, but stops the batter from taking the extra base goes a long way towards preventing big innings.

  • Posts: 5434 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    As much as I appreciate positive postings, I just think it’s too early to call this one yet.

    For you old-timers out there, Jurgensen for Snead looked pretty good for a few seasons too. We all know that only one of them is in the HOF, the wrong one.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    My sports illustrated baseball preview arrived.

    The Mets are indeed pre season ahead of the Phillies.

    The Mets are a disgrace and not even trying to win.

    Isnt that they beat the Phillies last year enough?

    I will be torn this season.

    I will always root for the Phillies. But until Ruben goes there really is no hope or future.

    So as the loses pile up I will just wait for him to lose his job.

    If they somehow win some games it will be a weird feeling.

    If it gives Rueben job security its bad.

    If they were somehow 81-81 this year and he kept his job it would be a bad year IMO.

    I highly doubt they will be .500 though.

    I too see the pathetic Mets without Harvey and there 89 million dollar pay roll.
    Finishing ahead of the Phillies and their 180 million dollar top 3 pay roll.

    Really Ruben you out do yourself over and over again.


  • Posts: 0 T Martin

    Revere sucks and the Phillies are NEVER winning anything with him as their starting CFer

  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    In April and May of last year, Revere was a terrible player. In the 4 weeks or so before he got injured before the All Star game, he was a very good offensive player. He has definite weaknesses defensively. Even though, he makes some highlight reel plays, sometimes he isn’t a good judge of fly balls and his arm is just terrible. And, remember that dropped fly ball against the Mets. I don’t see him as a steal. If he plays as he was playing in the 4 weeks before he got injured, I see him as a young Juan Pierre. But based on his overall performance last year, I am not convinced yet that he is the answer in center field.

    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      I agree it’s too early to call it a steal, but this is mis-stating 2013. He was very good from May 1 on:

      April (23 games): .200/.234/.222 (.456 OPS)
      May-ASG (65 G): .347/.380/.404 (.784 OPS)

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Is there an ounce of doubt that Cliff Lee will pitch well Monday? So little that Congress has legislation in front of it that would change 3 certainties in life to death, taxes, and a vintage performance by said hurler.

    Now whether the Phils defend behind him, and/or support him offensively, and Lee won’t bat, killing about 30% of the drama, is a horse of another pony, but Lee figures to do his usual 90 pitches, 92 for strikes.

    Not only does Cliff have optimism behind him, but he’s got good history against a Texas lineup that has it’s strengths, but atypically, some semi automatic outs. Sort of, at least.

    Adrian Beltre, for example, is 4-32 against Cliff. At least he makes contact, having struck out “only” 5 times. He even walked once, but power is absent with a mere 3 doubles totaling his EBH results.

    Sin Choo Choo has a base hit off Lee in 6 at bats, and has drawn a walk. That’s a brief sampling, but if Choo has a good offensive game, it will come out of nowhere.

    With Beltre either overdue, or a massive underdog against Lee, and Choo a little light on data to even offer any indications, that leaves Prince Fielder as the one dude in the lineup you don’t let beat you. Fielder V Lee is the biggest mismatch since Larry Jones V Doc Halladay.
    A robust 6 for 8 off The Vintage Man. With 2 doubles and a homer, Fielder’s “lifetime OPS against Lee, albeit a lifetime of 9 plate appearances would make Babe Ruth look like an average hitter. Clearly, Cliff’s day figures to center around limiting, maybe even stopping Fielder. But if that’s not dramatic enough, each pitch Lee throws to Fielder will earn him higher dollars than I can calculate. Each pitch Fielder sees from Lee will earn him equal eons of bucks. One of them, to date, has certainly earned their coinage in head to head matchups, and In what figures to be a low scoring game, hopefully, the trend stays friendly.

    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      If Cliff wants to see any runs scored for him again this year he may have to serve as his own designated hitter.

    • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

      I know that I have the Rangers starter on opening day on my fantasy team.

      I don’t even know his name.

      But he is a must play.

      If Ruben must kill the team I root for at least I can benefit from spot starting pitchers vs the Phillies in fantasy.

      Thanks Ruben.

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