The Phillies, having lost both Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino to free agency were hell bent on acquiring a new centerfielder. Earlier in the day they chose Ender Inciarte, but the acquisition of Ben Revere from the Twins supplants that move and increases the odds Inciarte will be returned to the Diamondbacks or traded.
Like Pierre, Revere is a player who fully understands the limits of his talents and plays to maximize them. Completely devoid of power, Revere knows that all too well and consciously pounds the ball into the ground, doing so nearly 70% of the time. Of course, Revere is blessed both with good hand-eye coordination and speed, so that combination allows for a 90+% contact rate and heavy rate of infield and bunt hits. In fact this accounts for about 45% of Revere’s hits last year.
The approach to make contact and utilize speed, however, requires an aggressive approach and reduces Revere’s value as a top of the order hitter. In order to post a worthwhile top of the order OBP, Revere has to hit above .300 (possibly above .310 to post around a .350 OBP meaning the lefty is best left for the 8th slot in the batting order.
For now, the 24-year old is quite capable of being a worthwhile fantasy investment, hitting for average and 40+ steals in contrast to less worthwhile real/sim-league baseball skills.
On the Twins side, they acquire two young pitchers in Vance Worley and Trevor May. Worley, 25, has produced two rather solid back to back seasons for Revere. A former third-round pick, Worley is known for solid command and control (back to back seasons of 3.1 and 3.2 BB/9) while showing an ability to miss bats (8.1 and 7.2 K/9). A .340 batting average on balls in play, however, sabotaged what might have been a possible second sub-4.00 ERA for the righty in 2012. Worley is primarily a ground-ball pitcher who averages around 90 mph on his fastball and mixes a cut-fastball, throwing a curve, slider, and change quite sparingly. There are no readily apparent chinks in the armor at the moment other than the fact that Worley threw just 133 innings last year and will be asked to substantially increase that workload and will need to show durability. Fortunately, Worley’s injury is related to bone chips and is a form of surgery that is typically one that has little or no lasting effect. When the season opens, Worley will have had almost 7 months of recovery time, so all systems should be go.
Trevor May is a former fourth round pick who is likely to start the season at Triple-A. At 6’5”, 220 pounds, May throws plenty hard and flashes multiple potential plus pitches. However, the righty continues to have issues throwing them with a consistent release and throwing strikes. While May maintains consistently high strikeout rates in the minors, walk rates well into the 4’s continue to derail him. For now May will continue to work as a starter, but may be better suited for a relief role.