By David Heck, Special to CBS Local Sports
CBS Local Sports will be profiling one young player from each Major League Baseball team every day for the next 30 days as part of our “30 Players 30 Days” spring training feature.
Ben Revere, Outfielder, Minnesota Twins
2011 season: 117 G, 450 AB, .267 AVG, 56 R, 0 HR, 34 SB
The Minnesota Twins don’t have a ton of youth on the Major League squad, but the 23-year-old Revere is expected to start the year as the team’s regular left fielder. He’s not the prototypical power-hitting left fielder – he’s hit just five homers in five years as a pro ballplayer – but that won’t stop him from being productive. He’s one of the fastest players in the Majors, and that makes him an asset in the field and on the basepaths.
Despite missing the first month and a half of the season, Revere swiped 34 bags last year, placing 13th in the Majors. If you prorate his numbers out to 160 games, he would’ve had 45 steals and ranked fourth in the bigs. Revere also was caught just nine times during his rookie year, giving him a solid 81 percent success rate. In the outfield, Revere used his speed to play one of the best center fields in the Majors when normal Twins starter Denard Span was injured. Relegated the corner spots when Span was healthy, Revere’s impact was reduced, but he still proved to be well above average.
It would be nice to see some more pop in Revere’s bat, but that’s simply not going to happen. One thing he could improve, though, is his eye at the plate. He walked just 26 times last year, a disappointing figure for someone so fast. The good news is that he’ll likely get on base more in the future no matter what, as his average is due to increase. He was a career .326 hitter in the minors, which suggests he should be able to hang around the .300 mark in the Majors.
Because he plays in Minnesota and doesn’t meet the traditional standards of a corner outfielder, Revere is likely to be underrated unless he starts putting up 50-steal seasons. Even if he doesn’t quite get there, though, he should still be a fine player. With Revere and Span roaming the outfield, the Twins will have an excellent defense – something particularly important for them considering their contact-oriented pitching staff. Revere isn’t likely to ever be an All-Star, but he’s the type of role player that winning teams are made of.
Next up on March 12: Cleveland Indians