Friday, March 30, 2012

The Willingham Shift: Ben Revere

Ben Revere: His future
now appears to be
that of a reserve outfielder.
Ben Revere opened camp as the putative left fielder. With less than a week to go, he's merely a contender for playing time in right field — the outfield spot his skill set is least suited for.

He'll still be on the 25-man roster — there's nobody else in the mix who wouldn't be an embarrassment in center field when Denard Span needs a break — but The Willingham Shift strongly suggests that the Twins have decided that Revere is a fourth outfielder.

It's a reasonable conclusion. Span and Revere are very similar players — left-handed singles hitters with speed and relatively weak arms. Span is simply better at most aspects of baseball than is Revere. Span throws better, he has more power, he has the more discerning eye at the plate. Revere is probably a bit faster, but Span isn't exactly a Molina brother.

I said this last year: There are plenty of good, even great, teams with one guy like this in their outfield. The 1927 Yankees had Earle Combs. The Yankees of the mid 70s had Mickey Rivers. The Indians in the 1990s had Kenny Lofton. The Marlins won a World Series with Juan Pierre. On and on ... Omar Moreno, Willie Wilson, Doc Cramer, Bill Verdon ...

There are few pennant winners with two of them. You need some power from your outfield corners. And Revere has less power than most of the speed merchants mentioned.

If Revere is ever to become a major league regular, it will be as a lead-off man center fielder. The Twins have a better one in Span. As long as they're on the roster together, Revere is a fourth outfielder.

It's a role that fits his skill set. He's certainly more the prototype reserve outfielder than prototype corner outfielder.

1 comment:

  1. Dozier is going to get his shot early this season. Starting SS with Caroll sliding over to 2nd. Dozier will take the ball and run with it. It is inevitable (& for the best given Casilla always regressing into being Casilla) so just get it over with early...Opening day.

    Alexi Casilla will get an MRI on his right knee Friday. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that GM Terry Ryan "continues to hope it's nothing serious."