2015 was a busy season for Ben Revere. He saw his tenure in Philadelphia come to an end before the July 31 trade deadline, and joined a Toronto Blue Jays club that had just finished equipping itself for a run towards an AL East title, and their first postseason birth since 1993, when a certain someone hit a certain home run against a certain team in a certain World Series.
But before joining the Jays, Revere manned center field and batted lead-off for the worst team in baseball. The 27-year-old entered his third year as a member of the Phillies after coming off his second-consecutive season of batting over .300 He looked to repeat the feat of leading the club in batting average for a third-straight time, but he would do so surrounded by little offensive talent.
During his tenure in Philadelphia, Revere was incredibly miscast, and because of that, he received much more criticism than was warranted. He took awkward routes in center field, he couldn’t throw out a base-runner to save his life, and he had no power to speak of. These were valid faults in Revere’s game. Yes, his arm from center field never instilled fear in any base runner tagging up from third on a ball hit to the outfield. Yes, his home runs were few and far between. But the faults in his game were amplified because of the lack of offensive talent around him. He was expected to be one of the main contributors at the plate, but his shortcomings wouldn’t allow it and fans had trouble accepting that fate.
Revere was not the perfect player for the Phillies. But he was a very good player, and more importantly, a consistent player for this organization. That trend continued in 2015.
The biggest change for Revere in 2015 was the shift to field after the emergence of Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera, who earned a starting job with his production at the plate. The move supplemented his weak throwing arm and helped Revere record five outfield assists in 2015, which was tied for the most among Phillies outfielders alongside Herrera and the cannon arm of Jeff Francoeur.
In addition to gunning out base runners, the speedy Revere employed his speed to make more highlight catches for the Phillies in 2015, including the catch shown below that led to one of Revere’s two double plays from the outfield.
At the plate, Revere continued to be the best Phillies’ hitter in terms of hitting for average. The outfielder was able to shake off a down April, where he batted just .215 in 79 at-bats, and record a .286 average in May, a .346 average in June, and a .344 mark in July. By the trade deadline, Revere led Phillies hitters in batting average yet again with a .298 mark to go along with a solid .334 OBP. His 24 stolen bases were also a team-high, and his 49 runs scored finished just 15 short of Herrera’s count of 64 in 129 fewer at-bats.
And for good measure, Revere hit just his third-career home run off Washington Nationals ace, Max Scherzer. He would later homer off Michael Pineda at Yankees Stadium as a member of the Blue Jays for his fourth-career dinger.
Revere was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays just hours before the non-waiver trade deadline for pitchers Jimmy Cordero and Alberto Tirado. He joined a potent Blue Jays offense that featured sluggers Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion, and the newly acquired Troy Tulowitzki. Revere landed in the perfect lineup; a lineup where his singles and stolen bases could successfully set the table for the middle of an explosive lineup.
There’s no question that Revere was miscast during his time in a Phillies uniform. They acquired him from the Minnesota Twins before the 2013 season with the hopes that he would be a table-setter in front of big bats like Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard. That never came to fruition. As a result, Revere became the victim of unfair scrutiny. He wasn’t a great player, but he was certainly a consistent one playing on severely inconsistent Phillies teams. 2015 was no different.