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How Ben Revere worked his way to a big major league asset
Name: Ben Daniel Revere
Height/Weight: 5'9"/170 lbs.
High School: Lexington Catholic High School, Lexington, KY
Drafted: 1st round, 28th pick by the MN Twins
Major League Debut: September 7, 2010
In 2011, Ben Revere posted a respectable enough triple slash of .267/.310/.309. It was known that he wasn't going to hit for power, considering his small stature, but he managed to find ways to get on base, and did end up stealing 34 bases, enough to wind up on the list of all-time stolen bases leaders. As his first whole season in the majors wound down, it was easier to see that his defense may have been fun to watch for a running catch or dive, but his arm was definitely a big setback in his fielding. This actually earned him a -3 in defensive runs saved above average, according to Baseball-Ref. Considering a player like Josh Hamilton, who is probably an unfair comparison, but who I'll still use, was worth a +6 in the same category for the same year, we can see that Revere's arm was going to be a big drawback in having him in the field. He made fancy catches, sure, but watching him try to throw out a runner in field could be painful.
At the plate, 2011 wasn't a terrible year for Revere, as he was worth +6 in baserunning runs above average. For comparison, Joe Mauer's injury-riddled 2011 season left him with a 0 in the same category. Revere on the bases: good. Revere at bad: not bad. Revere in the field: kind of bad. This all, however, was in 2011, when Revere was young, not very experienced, and still very much a rookie...
Enter 2012 Ben Revere. 2012 Ben Revere has proven himself to be a great asset to have at the top of the order, and even better on the base paths than last year. So far, Revere has already stolen 38 bases, raised his triple slash to a decent .288/.328/.340. He's improved in almost every way, and even his arm doesn't seem as bad this year. He filled in well for the oft-injured Denard Span this season, and has raised his fielding defensive runs saved above average from -3 to +7 in 2012. His actual fielding percent this season is 1.000, compared to his 2011 .976. His arm has definitely improved, though he still doesn't have the strongest throw by any means.
It's easy to root for Ben Revere. By all account, he seems like a pretty nice guy, he's funny and charming in interviews, and does interact with fans on his twitter page, which is always nice. And who can forget his somersaulting adventure? I'm not sure what the future holds for Ben Revere with the Minnesota Twins (I suspect an outfield of Span-Revere-Willingham next year, but who knows what'll happen with all those Span trade rumors?), but this I do know: if he continues to improve, he'll be a very valuable asset to this club for years to come.