No matter what Charlie Manuel tried having you believe at the end of the 2012 season, it was clear to Phillies analysts and fans alike that the team needed a new leadoff hitter. Jimmy Rollins was coming off one of the worst seasons of his career hitting .250 with an OBP of .316, his lowest OBP since 2009. Enter Ben Revere.
On December 6, 2012, Revere was traded to the Phillies from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for 2011 rookie sensation Vance Worley and top prospect Trevor May. After a strong spring training, Revere was officially named the opening day leadoff hitter.
Unfortunately, he started the season poorly and suffered a quadriceps injury in April that kept him out of the lineup for several games. When Revere returned in early May he saw his leadoff spot taken back by Jimmy Rollins and was demoted to the eighth spot in the lineup.
This seemed to light a fire under Revere.
By the end of May he was back at the top of the lineup as Manuel hoped to spark the offense. He did just that, and by the start of June Revere was finding his stroke. Unluckily, Revere suffered a fractured foot on July 14th after a foul ball hit him while at-bat. By this point he had raised his average to .305 on the season and his OBP to .338. He did this by hitting .407 with a .909 OPS in his final 29 games before his season-ending injury. The Phillies seemed to have finally found a worthwhile option atop their lineup. On a team that had the 7th worst OBP and 10th worst batting average in all of Major League Baseball in 2013, this was a huge loss for the Phillies and their run production.
The start of 2013 was slow for Revere, but as the days got hotter, so did he; until a broken foot ended his season prematurely. Revere will likely be the opening day center fielder for the Phillies and a crucial part of the lineup. Scoring runs has been a major problem for the Phillies the past few seasons, and they will continue to struggle without a reliable leadoff hitter to get on base. The Phillies have to hope they get the Revere they saw in June and parts of July, and not the Revere that opened the season for them in April and May.
Ben Revere could be a spark for the Phillies lineup in 2014. However, his 2013 season only lasted 88 games and was a tale of two stories. Philadelphia still isn’t quite sure in what they have with the 25-year-old centerfielder.
Grade: Incomplete- Revere played in only 88 games and struggled early, however his potential was evident before he went down with an injury. I’m holding off on a grade for him until we still him play through September and hopefully October.