"When the Twins traded Denard Span last week the assumption was that they did so in part because Ben Revere was ready to step in as their new center fielder and leadoff man, but now they’ve traded Revere to the Phillies.
"Minnesota has an incredible lack of quality pitching throughout the organization and one area where the Twins have good depth is the outfield, where former first-round pick Aaron Hicks could be ready to become the starting center fielder at some point in 2013. Revere is very fast and very good defensively, but he has zero power and a fairly limited overall upside, so if the Twins feel Hicks will be ready soon anyway it makes some sense.
"Revere has tremendous range in center field that more than makes up for perhaps the worst arm in baseball and he’s capable of swiping 50 bases at a good clip, but he may never hit an over-the-fence homer and through age 24 he’s hit .278 with a .319 on-base percentage and .323 slugging percentage. For years he’s been compared to Juan Pierre, for better or worse." - Aaron Gleeman on HardballTalk.com
Saber-minded reader weighs in: "Juan Pierre (to whom Revere has been compared) was a valuable player throughout the 2000s. He was just given a stupid contract. And Revere's fWAR last year, even with that OPS, was better than all but two of Pierre's best in his career (and Pierre got a ton more plate appearances and playing time than Revere did last year with Minnesota). Again, 3.4 fWAR in 2012. BJ Upton's was 3.3. Revere's fWAR last year was twice Pierre's with the Phillies. Pierre is not a good defender anymore. Imagine if in addition to hitting .307/.351 Pierre provided 1000+ innings of elite defense in the OF. That's what Revere provided for Minnesota." - sophist
Additional scouting report: (Gleeman e-mailing Beerleaguer) "He takes some weird routes, definitely, but I don't think he's totally clueless out there. And his speed is truly elite. Might be the fastest guy in the majors, with lots of quickness and athleticism, and good long speed too. He has an incredible ability to make contact and I think sometimes that makes it appear as though he doesn't have much patience. He rarely walks, but that's in part because pitchers aren't afraid to throw him strikes and in part because whenever he swings he's putting the ball in play. So basically any swing ends the at-bat, ruling out a walk. He's willing to take some pitches, though. Exceptional base-stealer, both in terms of volume and success rate. Could easily steal 50-60 bases a season at a good clip. Not a very good bunter despite the Twins repeatedly asking him to work on that. And almost literally zero power. Like, struggles to hit fly balls to the warning track and will probably never hit an over-the-fence homer."
Beerleaguer: I'm pretty okay with going with cheap defense to solve the center field situation, but the Phils will need to add a major run producer to one of the corners or it will be among the worst outfields in the league next season.
Still, even with a notoriously weak hose, Revere is considered an elite outfielder, and defense was something the Phillies absolutely had to improve this winter.