Mayberry, Revere and the Starting CF Post – Phillies Nation

Mayberry, Revere and the Starting CF Post

The Phillies trade of Shane Victorino last season left a gaping hole in centerfield heading into the 2013 campaign. With a bevy of free agent centerfielders available, and even more available via trade, the Phillies stood to shore up the position for years to come. While I argued for the likes of Peter Bourjos, Angel Pagan or Denard Span, the Phillies opted to acquire Ben Revere, a young, speedy, team-controlled outfielder still approaching his prime. The move was met with mixed reviews. Some were scared off by his utter lack of power while others were fans of his defense, baserunning and potential.

By the end of April, most fans were ready to throw in the towel on the Revere experiment, as his weaknesses were magnified and his strengths didn’t look that strong. He was hitting .200 with a .234 on-base percentage in an everyday role. He hit into more double plays than are typically associated with a speedster and failed to beat out dribblers and infield grounders. While his range proved solid up the middle, it wasn’t exemplary, and was at least partly canceled out by his arm. Revere simply wasn’t playing good baseball and was a big reason for the Phillies slow start.

John Mayberry, Jr got off to a much better start, hitting .242/.324/.470 in April, while playing adequate defense at the most important outfield post. As fans grew tired of Revere’s struggles, and the general approach that led to his lack of productivity, many gravitated towards Mayberry as the everyday starter.

But then something funny happened – Revere gradually started hitting well while Mayberry’s power was sapped. From May 1-June 3 — prior to Tuesday night’s dramatic walkoff win — Revere hit .300/.344/.344 while Mayberry hit .280/.308/.300. Yes, Revere actually outslugged Mayberry for over a month. Two extra inning home runs for Mayberry, coupled with Revere’s 0-5 on Tuesday, shifted the paradigm but this comparison offers yet another reminder of why decisions shouldn’t be based on small sample sizes when much more tangible evidence about true talent levels exist.

Who the Phillies should start in centerfield isn’t a cut and dried decision, as listeners of 94.1 WIP felt Wednesday morning, when 69% voted for Mayberry. Rather, it depends upon the organization’s goals and a realistic team projection, which may prove difficult for a front office that may undergo significant changes moving forward.

One of the problems the Phillies have with this Revere-Mayberry scenario is that each player represents an archetype that proves useful in different situations. Revere is a young, everyday player worth a full and extended look. His playing time shouldn’t be tinkered with, as his career numbers are better than what he has shown so far, and it’s tougher to break out of a funk when your playing time is reduced.

He is a solid centerfielder for a team banking on its developmental staff helping him reach his potential in a non-contending phase. Mayberry is a stopgap solution. He is the type of player a team sticks with in centerfield because he is cheap and the front office opted against a big-ticket free agent.

Since the team seems committed to using Delmon Young in right field, the Phillies are at a philosophical fork in the road, because it makes little sense to platoon Revere and Mayberry. Even though they bat from opposite sides, Revere is best utilized with more frequent playing time in center, while Mayberry is best utilized as part of a corner outfield platoon. What makes the most sense is to go with a Brown-Revere-Mayberry outfield, as JMJ already provides what Delmon Young does at the plate, but with much improved baserunning and fielding to boot.

Sure, Young may have had a good playoff series last year, but he is worse than Mayberry and the numbers back up that assertion. Since last season, Mayberry has batted 608 times with a .250/.306/.407 line, a .310 wOBA and 93 wRC+. Young has batted 719 times, with a .260/.293/.412 line, a .305 wOBA and 89 wRC+. Mayberry has 18 home runs to Young’s 23 but the two are equals on an AB/HR basis.

With Mayberry’s extra-inning heroics Tuesday night, the Phillies might feel pressured to work him into the lineup more often, and that will unfortunately come at the expense of Revere. Revere has been playing better over the last 35 days and will continue to see his batting line improve barring some serious fluke — his .281 BABIP would represent a marked drop from his career average if it was sustained. Removing him from the lineup isn’t going to improve the team because that would be a present decision based off of past numbers.

The decision of who to play in the outfield should be based on projections moving forward as well as the team’s overall plans.

The Phillies don’t know what they are right now. At 30-30, they are a hot streak away from being in the thick of the Wild Card race, but they have been unable to put together even a lukewarm streak this season. Treating Delmon Young as a concrete starter in the same way the team views Domonic Brown is a mistake. With Brown set in left, the Phillies would be better suited to play Revere full-time in center to truly gauge what they have over a meaningful sample, while using some type of NixBerry platoon in right field.

If the team is content with Young playing everyday, it should test the trade markets with Mayberry or commit to using him as a reserve. Juggling he and Revere in center doesn’t move the needle this season and could hurt the development of someone they acquired as a long-term centerfield solution.

The first step is understanding where the team is and how it figures to fare moving forward. The team has done enough mortgaging the future for short-term success, and limiting Revere’s playing time is not the answer. Mayberry should play more often, but it should come at the expense of Young, not Revere.



  1. JMills

    June 6, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Mayberry is a platoon player period. I would give Revere the whole season to see what we have.

  2. Jaron B

    June 6, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Excellent analysis, Eric. Maybe in a month or two, our outfield will be Ruf (LF-1B), Mayberry (OF-1B), Brown (LF-RF), Revere (CF), and Nix (RF-1B)… maybe bring Schierholtz back for D. Young and a prospect in July?

    • Don M

      June 6, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Pretty sure you were joking, but No chance that the Cubs would want D.Young… let alone give us anything of value in return

  3. Mike in NJ

    June 6, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I’m not a Mayberry fan, but IMO he’s a better option than either D Young or Revere, and I 100% agree Mayberry is a platoon player at best, which just goes to show you what I think of our current CF/RF. This team is going no where unless they acquire a legit major league outfielder for ONE of these positions, and soon.

    Revere’s defense isn’t nearly as good as it was sold to us as (and certainly doesn’t make up for the lack of offense), and combined with his noodle arm, almost makes him a liabilty in CF. If I see him break back on a shallow flyball that ends up dropping in front of him for a hit or a slow runner going 1st-3rd on a single to center one more time, I’m going to pull the rest of my hair out.

    Delmon Young makes Pat Burrell look like Willie Mays defensively, and so far his offense is nothing to write home about, either.

    • George

      June 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Delmon Young makes Pat Burrell’s grandmother look like Willie Mays defensively.

  4. lilwengs

    June 6, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Contrary to what many Phillies fans think, the Ben Revere trade was a perfect move. The Phillies traded Vance Worley (now in the minors after imploding with the Twins) and Trevor May (sporting his 4+ ERA in the minors) for Ben Revere (a young player with potential who the Phillies control until 2018 for under a million a year). Has Revere lived up to his potential? Hopefully not. Has Revere done well enough to justify the trade? Certainly. One of the alternative center fielders not mentioned in this article is B.J. Upton. who is batting 100 points lower than Revere and making $12.5 million more. Any fan who was hoping the Phillies got Upton cannot say that Amaro did poorly or that Ben Revere is a poor investment. Also, any fan who says that his inability to hit home runs is a terrible thing needs to take a look at Juan Pierre’s career stats. Juan Pierre manufactured his own run the other night, and if Revere works out, he will be able to do the same. If not, the Phillies would have spent $3 million on the gamble.

    • Manny

      June 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      I agree. I liked the move then and still like it now.

    • Ken Bland

      June 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Your viewpoint is woefully one sided for the sake of making your point. You talk about potential in Revere, and point to Upton’s poor season like he is what he is. How anyone could think BJ’s first 3 month’s is what they’ll see the balance of the year, let alone the contract would be amazing. It doesn’t even get into value per money, that part’s a given, but you’d have to think they could have swung a better deal for 2 pitchers, not cutting it or not. There was very little enthusiasm for signing Upton from what I saw, you make it sound like whatever number it was in favor of BJ had conviction. The bottom line is this. This discussion is relevant because it’s current reality. But no matter how many wrongs you add trying to make a right, it doesn’t work. There’s no right decision between Young, Revere and Mayberry. None are regulars. The only right answer is to pray for production, until you can do netter. Ben Revere was not, and in my view, won’t be a right answer. Team control isn’t always a good thing. It can be a hinderance. Bennie is basically that. That he might be outperforming Worley and May to this point is besides the point. Trades aren’t a short term conclusion, and yu have to compare it to what else you might have gotten for the 2 arms.

      • George

        June 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        A couple of points:

        Upton is a bit older than Revere, so he probably does have less upside than Revere.

        We’ll never know what the Phils could have gotten for the two traded arms, but I’d be willing to guess it could only have been a different version of Revere. Worley had just come off a mediocre, injury plagued season, and niether arm seems to be progressing much.

      • lilwengs

        June 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        Thanks for your reply. First of all, many fans did want BJ Upton, and I think RAJ did as well but was wise enough to stay away. Upton is a proven commodity. He will provide 150+ strikeouts per year, a .250 average or lower, 20 HR, and 70 RBI. The Phillies could not afford to add another 150+ strikeout man to the lineup for an extended time. Really no outfield options were great on the market this year, and I think trading for Ben Revere saved the Phillies from getting another burdensome contract on the payroll. To say that Revere is a hindrance is absurd. With as little as they are paying him, they can absorb the contract and send him to the minor leagues or designate him for assignment if he struggles too much. His stats this year are not overwhelmingly good or bad so far. I would like to see the hitting coaches work with him to become more of a true leadoff man by being more selective and taking/ fouling off pitches. The two walks yesterday were nice to see–especially after years of watching Jimmy pop up the first pitch of the game.

        To write off a 25-year old player who has shown potential seems like a terrible decision–especially when Domonic Brown is just now starting to show what he can do. It also seems like a poor decision to write off young players when most of the issues surrounding the organization deal with aging. Hopefully my assessment of the situation is correct for all of our sakes, but if not, the Ben Revere trade will certainly not be one we look back on with disdain.

      • schmenkman

        June 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

        @lilwengs, I agree, it’s way too early to give up on Revere. A couple of points though: he is already pretty disciplined; he doesn’t walk much because pitchers have little incentive to throw him a strike, since there is little chance of an extra base hit.

        Secondly, if one actually counts the number times Rollins has popped up on the first pitch, it would be a small number. After all, he swings at the first pitch a good deal less than players do on average.

      • schmenkman

        June 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm

        derp. …little incentive to throw him *anything but* a strike…

  5. Don M

    June 6, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Eric… great article! I couldn’t agree with you more…

    My only hope is that Delmon Young keeps showing some power, enough to make some stupid AL team give up a low-level prospect for him at the trade deadline this year…. I hate Young, but while he’s playing, I hope he produces to improve his value (unfortunately, if he produces, it makes them want to play him more)… ugh

    • Manny

      June 6, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Why would you want a low-level prospect anyway? It’s better if he just flat out struggles some more so that the team is forced to let him go and can finally move on to the Nix/Mayberry platoon. If D Young gets on a hot streak for any reason, sure it’d improve his value, but it’ll also buy him even some more wiggle room when future struggles arise –costing us even more runs/games.

      • Don M

        June 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

        a low-level prospect as in… nobody is going to give you a AAA player that’s close to MLB ready for 2 months of Delmon Young ……. the more likely scenario is that they’d give you someone in High-A with some upside

        It’s not that you “want” a low-level prospect, but that’s the return for the value D.Young would have

      • Manny

        June 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

        That’s not my point. I’m saying that the difference between a low level prospect and nothing is basically nothing. So I’d prefer if the Phils management just releases him asap before he keeps costing us runs, and by default, games. (Contrary to what you’re saying about hoping he gets hot so we could trade him —if he gets hot, we’ll probably keep him for too long, and that’s not a good thing!)

      • Don M

        June 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        you realize by low-level … I just mean Young, with upside … not low-level, as in someone stuck in A-ball because he’s not good right?

        Like how the Phillies were more willing to trade guys from A, AA over the past few years than the AA/AAA guys that were close to being impact players.

        We can agree to disagree, though I’m highly confused as to why you wouldn’t want the Phillies thin farm system to gain any extra players with upside

      • Manny

        June 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

        I thought that there’s no such thing as ‘low-level with upside.’ Nobody is gonna give anything with upside for Delmon Young, even if he gets hot. IF you could get something in return, it’s basically gonna be an organizational filler. We’re better off simply releasing him now. The gains for the big league team from that move alone should outweigh any potential gains from a trade.

      • Don M

        June 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        I’m confused as to why you’re so confused about this…. lets say they trade to him Team X for their #10 overall prospect, a guy that might be 20 years old, in A-ball…. scouts like him, but nobody is sure he’ll be a star.. he has the tools, need to see if it clicks.

        that’s a low-level prospect… I understand that nobody is giving the Phillies a Baseball America TOP 100 for a Delmon Young rental.. but you can get a guy that your scouts like, which is much better than releasing a player for nothing – which you know the Phillies won’t do in Young’s case.

        • George

          June 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          Personally, I doubt if any team would give even the type of player you’ve described for Young. Eventually, as he gets less and less desirable, other teams will merely out-wait the Phils. There’s no reason whatsoever for any team to give up a player to get a guy who will most likely be released sooner or later.

          I’m with Manny when he says “The gains for the big league team from that move alone should outweigh any potential gains from a trade.”

        • hk

          June 11, 2013 at 7:22 am

          Don M,

          DY’s got a .704 OPS over the past 3 seasons, which doesn’t profile well for a DH, and he doesn’t run or field well, which doesn’t profile well for RF or LF. Why would a team give up a prospect who has a chance to make the majors for that type of production, not to mention that baggage that comes with it? If what you’re talking about is getting organizational filler for DY, then maybe some team will give up a class D prospect to have him platoon at DH, but if that’s all they can get, they might as well just release him now and move on (and save a few dollars).

  6. Larry in SouthPhilly

    June 6, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Mike in NJ,

    Thanks Buddy. You saved me a lot of time by stating my EXACT opinion. Eric calls Revere a solid CF? He’s developing. Fair to poor instincts but the arm & bat leave him developing in the minors IMO. Less baseball intelligence than Victorino. He was thrown out trying to steal 3rd with no outs recently. I disregard him getting on base because he can not drive the ball

    Sure. JMJ is a stop gap measure. So what? We are going to straddle the fence of building for the future and winning simultaneously? It was insane to add a player at a key position like center field who has no ability to drive the ball on a team that struggles to score runs.

    I want to see

  7. Jay

    June 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    You just used the same sample size to praise Revere (one month). How about we use their season-to-date numbers since that’s a larger sample size. Mayberry’s season-to-date numbers are significant better than Revere’s. Revere is in the bottom 10 in the MLB in most offensive categories and his defense has been erratic and below average. He’s batting lead off and getting the most ABs on the team. Makes no sense.

    • George

      June 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      I think Eric, in the long run, is comparing career numbers, not some small sample from this year alone. His citing of this year’s stats are there only to show that in a small sample size, those stats can be pretty meaningless; he’s not saying that Revere is better because he’s hit better for one month.

  8. George

    June 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    To me the answer is obvious: dump Delmon Young. He’s hurting the team both offensively and defensively far more than Revere ever will. Young will hit the ball out every once in a while, but when and if he only gets a base hit, he can’t run (check on how many times Manuel has used a pinch runner for him), which wastes a player. He can’t even come close to playing decent defense.

    Revere may never have power, but his speed will make up for some of that. His arm is week, but Juan Pierre and Johnny Damon could never throw worth a d— either. And Revere is younger and cheaper than Delmon, who will be getting more expensive with every game he plays.

  9. BobbySab

    June 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Release DYoung today …play Mayberry ..bring up Ruf,spot start him in OF & 1B

    • Ken Bland

      June 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      I’d hardly pretend to knowing when the right time to call a guy up is, unless it’s maybe Mike Trout level obvious, but being as this situation offers no answers that seem plausible, this is about as good a suggestion as we can look at. Maybe it’s better to keep searching externally, but this seems semi sensible.

      Speaks to the degree of wanting to9 throw your arms up, although IF I were looking to defend Rube, he didn’t throw money around. But I’m not. I like profitability AND winning. .

  10. hogey's role

    June 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    We should trade d young for a prospect to some al team willing to gamble on him.. leave revere alone in cf let him play and develop, even as solid as a cf as Victorino was he still misplayed balls last year, revere is young and has speed let’s give him sometime..
    I think about moving Brown back to right and calling up ruf give him a shot in left field see how he does for a month or so, he certainly can’t do any worse than d young.. if amaro wants to get younger than give our young kids a chance

    • Ken Bland

      June 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      I might get hungry again sometime, so words I’ll eat might actually come in useful sometime, but can I break some news to those that think Del Young is tradable?

      Not a sliver of a chance. Not even that. There seemed to be ZERO interest in the fella in the off season. None. And now, with trade candidates all over the place for the deadline, who in the name of Bowie Kuhn is gonna give up something for HIM? Bowie was The Village Idiot (no disrespect to Princeton University). Chances are Ali level certain over Chuck Wepner that anyone TRADING for Delmon is The Second Comuing of The Village Idiot.

      In the meantime, hope he gets hot while he’s here. And don’t give it back defensively.

      • hogey's role

        June 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm

        Delmon couldn’t get hot enough to make up for his defense.. he’s a dh and that’s it and with 15 clubs that use the dh at least one would give something even 50k for him..

  11. bacardipr

    June 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Mayberry isnt the option. Simply put he is a 4th OF’er. He is good defensively and can run the basepaths more like he hurdles them with them long legs. Up till recently with Dom Browns possible emergence the OF was a mess. Mayberry just isnt good enough offensively to be a starter on a supposed upper echelon team. Not to long ago it was the Galvis chant when he that one HR a few games back. It was just one good game.

    • Eric Seidman

      June 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Mayberry is a great 4th OF to have around right now while he’s under team control. He hits lefties very well. He should play against lefties instead of Delmon Young, and Nix should play against righties instead of Delmon Young. There was absolutely no reason to sign Delmon Young when, platoon or not, Mayberry was already the superior player.

  12. Jay

    June 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    You think Revere is good enough? Why?

    • Eric Seidman

      June 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Never said I think he is good enough to be a long-term solution. I said that he deserves a full season so we can all get a legitimate look at him. Hot and cold streaks are random and just because one happens at the beginning of the season doesn’t make it more or less important than one in July. There were a ton of CFs available this offseason and the Phillies opted for this one – it’s stupid to give up on him and that decision after 9 weeks. He may very well not be the answer, but he’s worth an extended look on a team that seems destined to go 82-80.

      • Ken Bland

        June 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        In reply to George’a comment, I can see a whole trail of see what happened with patience with D Brown forthcoming, assuming the eventual leveling off is good. And with time the crux of the point, it’s not debatable, time will be the determining factor and different viewpoints are subject to waiting it out..

        But I must say as one that has already drawn conclusions about Revere (which of course might not be right), time isn’t as important as talent and what can rise to the top with time. I think it’s an apples to oranges comparison. There’s nothing wrong with patience, but sometimes you have to draw the line with who to direct it toward. I don’t see much benefit to it in this case.

      • smitty

        June 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm

        Agree completely on Revere being given a full season chance. Fans want the Phils to acquire a fully grown mature player for two suspect pitchers – that wasn’t plausible. Moreover, just like Brown, Revere if given a chance to play, will either show he belongs or he doesn’t. But to judge him now, or as something he is not, seems plain foolish. What he is – is a younger version of Juan Pierre—we can only hope that he can become as big a nuisance on the bases as Pierre was and still is. Therein lies his value. He needs to play without the expectation that he has to be the next Victorino !

      • George

        June 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        I’m pretty sure that you think I rarely agree with you, even though I probably agree more than you think.

        This time, your analysis and logic are so legitimate I’d be an idiot not to agree. Revere may or may not be the answer, but two plus months of one season would not be giving him a fair chance at success, much as a couple of partial seasons weren’t a fair chance for Domonic Brown.

      • Ken Bland

        June 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        Here’s a comment from a scouting report on Ben Revere from 2010. Yet, people feel a full year is warranted to see what he brings to the table. At 25 years old, we’ll see how much his game improves as he gains experience and age. His routes this year speak to the degree of improvement from this 2010 comment. Apparently, some people feel there’s a lack of it to this point. Here’s the quote, and the link.

        “The biggest concern for Revere has been his defense. In the past, scouts haven’t been in love with the routes he takes.”

      • George

        June 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

        My comment was not intended as a comparison of the ability levels of Brown and Revere. It was only to indicate that teams shouldn’t give up on players before at least giving them a decent chance.

        Sometimes scouting reports show that a player doesn’t have much promise, and along with his current stats can indicate if a player has the talent to continue or should be dropped sooner than a full season. I’d say that the article you cited doesn’t even come close to saying Revere is a dud who should be dumped before he has that one-season chance. Even if he isn’t doing as well as we’d like RIGHT NOW, his earlier stats would seem to indicate this year isn’t the norm for him. The only thing I really saw is that his defense could probably be better.

  13. Jay

    June 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    He has 1,200 career ABs with a .630 OPS. His stolen bases help, but he’s still way below average offensively and overrated defensively. Nate McClouth is having a great year, leads the AL in stolen bases. He signed a 1 year deal for 2 million. He would have been a great short term fix until they see if one their minor league OF projects materializes.

    • hogey's role

      June 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Reveres ops is irrelevant as he is not a slugger.. his OBP being only 315 career is the problem a leadoff man with speed needs to get on base at a higher percentage… it doesn’t matter if he doubles or triples he can steal those bases.. granted he got caught at third the other night but he’s still learning to play he’s not polished yet..

  14. Jay

    June 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Slugging is not irrelevant for a lead off hitter. The more bases you get, the better chance you have to score. He doesn’t steal 2nd and 3rd every time he gets a single. His adjusted OPS (adding SBs to his slugging) is still way below average for his career. 1,200 ABs.

    • George

      June 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      No one steals second every time they get a single, and very few actual leadoff men get tons of extra base hits. Also, I don’t think the Phils were looking short term, because they really don’t have much in the way of center field help except maybe way down on the farm. Gillies is about the only one close, but he’s rarely been healthy.

      • George

        June 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        By the way, just because McClouth signed for $2 million with one team doesn’t mean he would have signed with the Phils for the same. In a bidding war, the price could have gone much higher.

      • hogey's role

        June 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm

        it’s important for a leadoff man to get on base and let the guys behind him drive him in.. revere doesn’t need to hit for power he has to get on base.

      • schmenkman

        June 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm

        He doesn’t need to hit for power, but it would sure make him more valuable and productive if he did. After all, every player comes up in a variety of situations. Sometimes (leading off an inning, say) getting on is what’s needed. And even then, if he puts himself at 2nd, or even better, scores, it doesn’t require as many hits after that to get him home. Sometimes he’ll come up with a runner on first and two outs, and an extra base hit is what’s needed. Every player has roles they play more often than others, but everyone in the lineup is responsible for generating offense in all situations.

  15. smitty

    June 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Delmon Young is not Willie Mays….but let’s not forget that the hated RAJ was able to get some players in return for Mr. Thome… I bet he has planned to unload Willie Young for something when the time is right….

    • lilwengs

      June 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Good Point for this post in general. Revere and Delmon Young were both cheap gambles. As with all gambles, you just “got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” Hopefully the management team listens to Kenny Rogers.

  16. DavidE

    June 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I think Mayberry is sounder defensively even if he doesn’t make the spectacular plays that Revere has on occasion. Maybe Nix should be in right field today because he is better defensively than D.Young. What gets me is how many times Revere doesn’t get the jump on the ball. The 9th inning on Sunday was a prime example of that. The first player hits a popup and Revere doesn’t come in and catch it.

  17. Jay

    June 7, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I never said the Phillies could have gotten McClouth for 2MM, did I? I said that’s what he signed for. There were other options (no I don’t mean BJ Upton, never liked him). Mayberry is a streaky hitter and not a long term solution but his .800 OPS looks a heck of a lot better than Revere’s .567. I don’t understand the timing of this article and the ridiculous support. Revere is a 4th OF / pinch runner, like he was tonight. Not sure what you guys are looking at. This year and career.

    • Eric Seidman

      June 7, 2013 at 9:06 am

      I don’t think anyone is supporting him in a ridiculous fashion. The point here is that 9 weeks is far too short of a time frame to make a concrete evaluation of a player. If you are supremely confident in your ability to evaluate players this quickly, then send me your resume and I will call on contacts in the Phillies front office to get you a scouting position. Revere may well be a 4th OF and pinch runner, but the Phillies opted to acquire him as their big center field acquisition this offseason, and 9 weeks is way too early to abandon that plan, especially considering he posted a .300 BA and 344 OBP in May, showing signs of breaking out of a slump. We need a full year to properly evaluate his place with this team. The timing of the article made perfect sense to me, as Mayberry’s heroics were the type of thing that would push him into the lineup more, and I’m arguing that if he gets more playing time, it should come at the expense of Delmon, not Revere.

      • hogey's role

        June 7, 2013 at 10:01 am

        Eric I agree with you about Mayberry getting time over d young.. anyway you can forward a lineup card to your contacts with the Phillies??

    • George

      June 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

      There are always other options, and many of them (in this case, McClouth, Upton, Victorino, Pagan, and maybe some trade options) but many of them are way more expensive and are also huge question marks.

      Maybe everyone except you and a few others is wrong. The idea, though, is that many of us feel that Revere should at least be given a decent chance. He did hit in the .290’s last year, does make some spectacular catches, steals bases frequently, and those that say he was moved to left because the Twins thought he couldn’t play center fail to consider that the Twins, at the time, also had other CFers and a superb CF prospect they thought would be ready for 2013.

      I just don’t see why you want Revere onthe bench so badly. His true abilities can’t possibly be judged if he does nothing but sit.

  18. Simple Observation

    June 7, 2013 at 3:11 am

    If the Phillies would stop trying to bat Revere in the leadoff position, there would not be much of an argument among knowledgeable people over who would be the starting centerfielder. Revere is one of the five best defensive center fielders in the game. 2013 will be his second year in the top 10 at the position, assuming he gets enough innings to qualify in the Range Factor/9Inn rankings as an OF. Denard Span is a very good center centerfielder. But, he has only managed to make those top 10 rankings three times in his six years. Revere would will make the rankings every year until he is thirty year old if he plays center 125 or more a year.

    As a lead-off hitter Revere is not good. Careerwise, he has hit .257 as the first batter in a game. Leading off an inning, he hat hit .261. However, he hits better than .300 combined in every other situation. If you want to know the difference between April and May this year, you need only look at where he hit in the line up. Revere hit .087 hitting lead-off in the game and .196 leading off an inning this year. Revere is not lead-off hitter material. He is good good number two hitter material. He is useful hitting down in the line-up.

    The fellow who makes out the Phillies’ line up card insists on putting Revere in the lead-off spot despite the fact that Revere has a career OBP of .315 and has an abysmal base on balls percentage. Even Rollins looks good compared to Revere when it comes to taking a walk. Revere might someday become a good lead-off hitter; but, not under the pressure of a manager who has only contempt for player who for batters with no power.

    Mayberry is a known quantity. He will have a hot streak or two at bat every season. He can be a decent player off the bench when he’s not depressed. He’s not a good centerfielder. An adequate centerfielder is worth 2.5 putouts a game. Mayberry’s career average is 2.36.

    • Simple Observation

      June 7, 2013 at 4:02 am

      Just so people don’t have to guess. Here is the list of the top ten rankings since the corrected formula was instituted 64 years ago. You won’t find Mayberry’s name in any year. You will find Revere’s in there for 2011 and the current year. Defense is all about getting to the ball and making the play. The spectacular plays are simply icing on the cake. Mayberry doesn’t get to the ball nearly as often as Revere. Having a player of Revere’s caliber in a key defensive makes the lesser defensive players that much better as well. They will play with more confidence, knowing they can “stay at home.”

      The corrected calculation that’s been in use since 1950 is:

      Range Factor per 9 Inn: 9 * (Putouts + Assists) / Innings Played

      It was not used before 1950 because MLB depended on newspapers to gather the stats. The journalists were lax about noting when defensive replacements were sent in. In fact, in the years from 1950 to 1973 there are still some errors being tracked down. The old calc, the one used on mlb. com, (Putouts + Assists) / Games Played unfairly penalizes players who only play part of a game.

      Phillies fans should be proud to know that Richie Ashburn still heads the list with the most first place finishes with five. Only 13 of his 15 seasons were recorded with the corrected formula. 1948 and 1949 were too early. Otherwise, he would have had seven first place finishes. Ashburn also has the highest percentage of years in the Top Ten defensive rankings, both in the old rankings and these, the corrected rankings. In this list he is 9 for 13. In the old list, he is 13 for 15. You can find out who is in the list and how many times by checking the the the little box in the upper left hand corner.

    • George

      June 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Have you actually read the lineup cards to make your simple observation that management “insists” on putting Revere in the leadoff spot? I have yet to see that spot with any name in it consistently. It’s been Rollins sometimes, and last night it was M. Young.

      Also, I have to agree with Jay that defensive stats are flawed. I can say this, though: Revere’s routes and his jumps might be questionable, but he still somehow manages to make a shipload of plays other CFers don’t. That’s what really counts the most.

      His arm, unfortunately, is not questionable; it’s no-doubts-about-it lousy.

      • Simple Observation

        June 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm

        Instead of consulting your memory, let’s consult baseball-reference. Revere has started 50 games in 2013. He batted lead-off in 26 of them, hitting.198 out of that spot. He’s started 24 games batting in other spots in the lineup, batting .305 in those spots. Revere batted lead-off in the first 15 games of the season. Then he was first benched and then demoted in the batting order. After hitting near .400 for most of May, Manuel moved him back in the lead-off spot for 10 straight games and Revere’s batting average plunged.

        Your observation about Revere’s arm is equally fact free. Revere had 8 assists in 1000 innings last year. That happens to quite respectable and contributed to his being the AL’s #1 Total Zone Runs Outfielder despite playing right field primarily. He has 5 assists in 50 games this year. Does any Phillies have more? Has any Phillies outfielder come close? As it happens, Revere is tied for 8th among outfielders and is 3rd among centerfielders for all of MLB in assists despite having played more than 100 innings fewer than the leaders. Like many a great outfielder’s, Revere’s arm has gotten stronger every year since his rookie year.

      • George

        June 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

        Who said I was trelying on memory alone? The fact is, 26 out of fifty does not equate with management’s “insistence” that he bat leadoff. I never once commented about what he might hit in that spot, but was merely contradicting your complaint about the “fellow who makes out the Phillies’ lineup card.” Your own checking (26 leadoff, 24 non-leadoff) pretty much proves that your “insistence” comment was inaccurate.

        As far as outfield assists, those are one reason why defensive metrics are suspect. Nobody runs on the guys with great arms, so many times they don’t rack up assists. Their “arm” shows in their not having to use it; their reputation for strong throws keeps people from taking that extra base. Despite Revere’s assist totals, runners are still trying to advance on him, and many times succeeding.

      • Simple Observation

        June 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm

        First, you used the word “consistently” in reference to the lead-off. spot. Manuel consistently put Revere’s name in the lead-off spot. for two stretches regardless of who was pitching. He benched Revere after both stints for failing to hit. Weasel any way you like, you are only fooling yourself.

        Second, stats are kept on whether runners run on an outfielder when he handles the ball. These are simple stats and do not rely on human judgment. The stat n question is called the Hold%. Revere’s Hold% this year is 47%. The MLB average for centerfielders is 44%. That means Revere is above average compared to other centerfielders. Last year when Revere played right for the Twins his Hold% was 51.5%. The MLB average for rightfielders was 46.3%. Again, Revere was above average compared to other rightfielders.. In the simplest terms, runners are less likely to run on Revere than on other outfielders as a group. Revere’s rep for having a weak arm cam from his rookie year. last year he had an average arm. This year his arm seems to be slightly above average. More importantly, he know where to throw the ball. this is something many outfielders never learn.

        As a comparison, Mayberry’s Hold% as CF in 2012 was 42% and is 40% in 2013. His Hold% as a rightfielder is 29.6% this year. His career Hold% is 43..8% as a CF. and 39.6% as a rightfielder. The MLB averages for the years of his career are 44..9% CF and 46.8% RF. You can discount these all you like; but, these are the facts. Runners (and third base coaches) will take a chance on Mayberry’s arm before they will take a chance on Revere’s. And, they will take that extra base on Mayberry without a throw.

        Finally, while it’s true that coaches and runners take fewer chances on outfielders with reps for strong arms, it’s obvious that they still take those chances. If that weren’t true those outfielders wouldn’t keep racking up assists. Revere is tied for 8th in assists right now. The guys ahead of him are all veteran starting outfielders with known excellent arms except one, Aaron Hicks. Hicks is one of the three centerfielders the Twins had on their bench and in their farm system that allowed them to trade both Span and Revere. Of course, the Twins did not expect to have to bring Hicks up so quickly ; but, like Revere, he is very fine defensively.

      • George

        June 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        Simple observation:

        There are no defensive plays that don’t rely to some extent on human judgement. There has to be someone who is deciding what plays the runner might even have a chance to advance on? How deep does a single to right have to be before it’s deemed that the runner has been held at second by the outfielder’s arm or instead held at second because the hit wasn’t deep enough? Was the runner held by the outfielder’s arm, or because he’s a slow runner?

        Your statement that “it’s true that coaches and runners take fewer chances on outfielders with reps for strong arms” pretty much backs up what I said earlier. And the idea that sometimes players take chances is meaningless in this regard, because the “chance” is also a judgement call. Some human has to decide how big that chance really was.

        I’ve seen Revere throw, and there’s not a soul or a statistic that will ever convince me he has a good arm. It’s possible Revere could improve, I suppose, but for now I’m going to agree with all the scouts who say his arm is weak.

      • George

        June 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

        One other thing, SO, I still don’t see 26 out of 50 games as “consistently.” So what if some of those games have been in a row? It’s still several games here, and several games there as a leadoff man, and it still only adds to 50%. That, to me, is not consistent, and it can’t even come close to any “insistence”–your word–by management that he hits leadoff.

  19. Jay

    June 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Defensive metrics are flawed. Anyone who has watched the Phillies games this year can tell that he is not a great CF. Even Wheels and McCarthy, the 2 biggest apologists for the organization, have criticized his defense (jump, read, route and arm).

    • Simple Observation

      June 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Sophisticated defensive metrics are flawed because they rely on human judgments. The simple ones are not. They don’t rely on human judgments. A great defensive outfielder is worthed 2.75 to 3.5 putouts per 9 innings over the course of a season. A good centerfielder is worth 2.5 to 2.75 putouts per nine innings. There are 64 seasons of data to back this observation up. That doesn’t mean such an outfielder up will be perfect. Your anecdotal observation that Revere makes mistakes does not invalidate what he does well.

  20. Ken Bland

    June 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    One name not mentioned in the off season candidates for the center field gig is Dexter Fowler. To whatever extent rumors are reliable, Fowler was at least mentioned in a passing way in the world of fanspeak, whether the Phils made any inquiries on him, I couldn’t say.

    Players have a hard adjustment with trades and switching teams through free agency. Some results suggest you’d nere know it as a new lease on life plays a central theme. So it’s presumptuous to suggest Fowler would be kicking ass like he is in Coors land here in ’13. Kicking ass is synonymous with a .300 batting average, and a 400 OBP. How Fowler might have translated through a near cross country trade, we’ll never know, especially since one might assume with reasonable safety that playing for the Rox this year is more uplifting than the qucksand trap that is the Philadelphia Phillie.

    As if Cargo and Tulo aren’t enough to nit let beat you this coming weekend, memories of trading for Fowler might be stirred this coming weekend. In a head to head match with Ben Revere, assuming he plays. Monday morning quarterbacking has an element of cheapness to it, but one can’t help but sense Phowler might have fit the mold of the Phils acquiring a centerfielder a la the Maddox, Dykstra, Rowand success route might have been fun and productive, instead of Revere’s game, which carries a minority of fun to watch moments..

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