Ben Revere Ready To Ride Again
My Philadelphia Phillies have taken it on the chin lately thanks to an aging core and bloated contracts. However, their lead off catalyst is Ben Revere, a speed player entering his prime years. An injury derailed Revere’s 2013 season after just 88 games. At the time, his .305/.338/.352 line with 22 steals reminded fantasy owners of Juan Pierre in his prime.
Under Davey Lopes, the Phillies were a top base running ball club. After three straight seasons of an 80% success rate or higher, their stolen base percentage dropped to 72% in 2013, in part because the team lost Ben Revere for an extended period. He has a 78% success rate over his career. Revere is already a perennial 40+ steals threat, but more experience and opportunities may allow him to push 50 steals.
In ROTO leagues, Ben Revere is a solid player in two categories (average and stolen bases). Runs scored will be the wild card. Revere is a healthy Ryan Howard and Chase Utley away from pushing triple digits. Even in their decline phase, each has the ability to drive runs in in bunches.
Revere is an asset in the OF4/OF5 slot — especially if stolen base totals are a concern. To best utilize Revere on your team, handcuff him to a power hitter like Giancarlo Stanton who provides little speed. Between his one stolen base and annual trip to the disabled list, a player like Revere would accumulate 20-30 starts as a handcuff.
Balance is a key to winning in fantasy baseball leagues. Pairing a power hitter with a source of cheap speed can result in similar production to the five category contributor one pays top dollar for. Ben Revere is a daily league option as well since his lefty/righty splits aren’t exaggerated. (career .300 vs L, .277 vs R).
Ben Revere Or Billy Hamilton?
Living an hour away from the Cincinnati Reds, I’ll see Billy Hamilton toy with opposing pitchers on the base paths if/when he ever reaches base. In the Baseball Prospectus prospect mock draft, the new Cincinnati center fielder was taken in the first round. I’d rather grab Revere and draft somebody else.
The purpose of this piece isn’t to compare Hamilton and Revere. Both are talented. But in fantasy baseball, owners are gambling on Hamilton when Revere has the potential to be better at a fraction of the price. Revere was recently quoted as saying that he’s worked on both his running form and getting out of the box quicker and feels that he may be faster than before his ankle injury. Let’s not forget the center fielder batted .312 in May and .354 in June after a slow April behind one of the better contact rates in baseball.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @643ball
18 Feb 2014 / Mike Buttil / 1
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