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Thursday, January 03, 2013

Comments

I've watched the Phillies long enough to know what a weak April schedule means.

.500 or worse.

The Astros are now in the AL. Stupid Selig!

Those first 32 do look east. Write me down for 12-20.

easy I meant.

"awh: I am not aware of any statistics, nor have I seen any on Beerleaguer, which show how good an outfielder is, relative to his peers, at preventing runners from taking 3rd base or home on a fly ball. If you know of such stats, or where I could find them, I would certainly be interested in seeing how big an issue it has been for Ben Revere. It seemed to me to be a huge issue for Juan Pierre."


bap, here's your answer and a place to find the stats:

"And per BillJamesOnline.com, opposing baserunners have taken the extra base on Revere 59% of the time when presented with the opportunity (first to third on a single, second to home on a single, etc.).

But by comparison, other right fielders -- some very good -- aren't holding runners as often as perception suggests. Opposing baserunners have taken the extra base only 35% of the time against Ichiro, but 58% against Justin Upton, 62% against Jason Heyward, 50% against Andre Ethier and 47% against Corey Hart."


http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_Ben_Revere_shows_why_range_matters_more_than_arm_strength061712

As to the thread topic and the April schedule:

The BL conventional wosdom is that the Phillies, as curently constituted, have so many question marks that they can't hope to be anything other than a .500 team.

So, I'll say they go .500 in April.

Nicely done awh.

Prediction: every time a runner advances successfully on Revere, it will become BAP's cause célèbre to point out how that is why he is- like Rollins- "average at best" defensively.

To Shane in response to his Howard query in the last thread: The main reason I'm cautious on Howard is that achilles tendon surgery is one of those ones where sometimes, a guy simply doesnt recover 100% or even 80%. For a guy in his 30s that NEEDS his legs like he does, even a 20% dropoff could have him looking like he did last year with no real improvement.

If he bats .220 while striking out 34% of the time, that doesnt really help the offense regardless of whether he hits 30 HRs.

I really hope that he does come back and is near or at 100%...but I'm not going to bet on it right now.

Iceman, here's another quote from that article:

"Yes, Revere's arm is an issue in right field. But his range -- which is unquestionably among the best of any outfielder in the game -- more than makes up for his lack of a cannon. That's because for every one baserunner that runs from first to third, Revere is tracking down fly balls and recording outs on what would normally be singles, doubles and triples."

Iceman and awh are breaths of fresh air on here as they actually research and bring logic to arguments which of course is immediately shouted down by those that disagree.

Anyone ever wonder just why Cliff Lee can be so amazing at times?

Take a look at this:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/bill_james_handbook_2013_leaderboards_part_ii_/

Quote:

"•Cliff Lee is the only qualifying pitcher in baseball with over half his pitches thrown in the strike zone."

Its also the reason he gives up a good number of HRs...much like Curt Schilling in that respect.

Those HRs are a small price to pay for his greatness as a SP.


Same with Hamels too for that matter.

awh: Thanks. So perhaps it won't be as big an issue as I fear. I certainly hope that's the case.

I dont think Revere will have any issues whatsoever in CF. I suspect he'll be near GG level (not Abreu GG but Bourn GG level) there.

TTI, the master at getting the facts and stats is Sophist.

I learned by watching and reading him.

I went a looked at a few of Revere's defensive highlights on youtube.

The guy is fast. Real fast.

Revere is probably the fastest player in the Majors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srPV2tK1V1s

Here's some of his highlights from 2011...his outfield range is ridiculous.

bap, I look at Revere as a Paul Blair "type" of CF, in that he's there primarily for his glove.

Blair was a .250/.302/.382 lifetime hitter, though during his peak years he did have some pop in his bat (he actually hit 134 dingers in his career).

Growing up a Senators fan, I saw him play a lot. He played really shallow CF. He won 8 GG total, and 7 in a row.

I suspect that's about 134 more HRs than Revere will ever hit. Though he did actually drive a couple balls to the warning track in those linked highlights. Well, he drove one ball to the warning track on a hard line-drive but maybe he'll get lucky at a game in Wrigley with like 40 mph winds blowing out or something.

I didnt read the comments and my memory can be fuzzy at times. If i remember the Phils always seem to get off to a slow then surge later. Im questioning their "surge" comeback ability.

    ...think Olney's opinions/analysis hold about as much weight as BAP's.

    Unless you are cut_fastball, GTown or Hitman, that means I think he doesn't have a clue.

    Posted by: Iceman | Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 09:34 AM

Happy New Year to you, too Iceman. You're a bright guy and a knowledgeable poster. Too bad (in my opinion) you focus way too much on comments on non-substantial issues. Many times such comments are just humorless.

Some folks do post "outside the box" and their posts are funny. It's pretty clear that GTown -- b_a_p, too -- have a sense of humor. You can't be funny on a baseball board without knowing the game.

Something that strikes me on Revere, always has, and the clips only further solidified it.

With his lack of power you would think of him more as a slap type hitter. But he really isn't that. He gets good cuts at balls and hits a good amount of line drives. Just doesn't drive the ball really.

and by "good amount of line drives" I mean, he doesn't really slap or chop things into the ground necessarily. He hits balls hard.

I read many of the arguements on here-surprise, most statistically driven-about how Revere should bat low in the order. Guys as fast as Revere-and by all accounts he has elite speed- are a mindf$% for opposing pitchers. Sure, he doesn't walk much, but his contact rate is excellent. So if he's a threat to get on base, just the idea of him standing on first gives him a great chance to be on second. I can't remember who on here said it, but if he doesn't bat first, (I am paraphrasing) Chollie should be arrested. Totally agree.

TTI: Those plays are on You Tube because they're the rarity. Revere led the major leagues with a 66.9% ground ball percentage last year -- a full 4.4% more than the 2nd place guy (Jeter). That 66.9% is the highest single-season ground ball percentage since Fangraphs started keeping track of the stat in 2002. And, yet, it was actually the lowest GB% of Revere's career. He was over 68% in both 2010 & 2011, but didn't have enough PAs to qualify on Fangraphs' list.

BAP: please read all my comments- including my amendment- before responding.

pblunts, why in the world would you call for Charlie's head for not batting a player with a career 78 wRC+ and career .319 OBP in the leadoff spot?

Truth: I did read it. In fact, I was responding specifically to the amendment, in which you said that "he doesn't really slap or chop things into the ground necessarily." That is obviously not true, based on his astoundingly high GB percentage. Slapping and chopping the ball into the ground is PRECISELY what he does.

BAP: You missed things I said but whatever.

To me there are different types of singles hitters. I'm thinking of guys who are like Pierre that just try to ground things to the left side and beat them out to first. Or sort of slap things into the ground and beat it out.

Revere does that to some degree, but on top of that he does hit balls hard and gets good cuts at balls. So while he is a ground ball specialist it is not as if he necessarily hits balls soft. Not all singles hitters are created the same.

Truth: Basically, you're wrong but are being too stubborn to admit it. You saw some You Tube videos of the three times all year that he hit the ball hard and, from those 3 video clips, you convinced yourself that he's not a slap-hitting ground ball hitter. In fact, the numbers tell us that Ben Revere is to slap hitting ground ball hitters as Picasso is to Cubism. He is Juan Pierre without the power.

Hey BAP you douchebag. Here is the very first sentence that I wrote that you refused to read or are either too blockheaded and stupid to comprehend.

"Something that strikes me on Revere, always has, and the clips only further solidified it."

Note the phrase "always has," which indicates I have seen Revere play to some degree instead of just waiting to see clips of him on YouTube like I am sure you did. Again- there are different types of singles hitters. Revere does hit the ball hard for a singles hitter. Yes his ground ball percentage is high but he doesn't hit a ton of squirters or seeing eye singles. He hits balls hard through holes. It isn't like I am saying he is freakin' Babe Ruth or anything and I even went back to amend my first comment because I realized it was kind of silly to say he hit a good amount of line drives when in the grand scheme of things he doesn't.

Next time you want to talk with me- instead of being a disingenuous asshat read what I write and then respond. Because to you my comments indicate that I am diluting myself about Revere, which I am not because I know what type of player he is.

Fatalotti, because of the way he forces pitchers to think when he gets on. He's a major distraction when he's on base and that helps those around him, in theory our best hitters. Remember, stats aren't the sole answer for everything. But I'm on the wrong site with that line of thinking.

TTI, the correct word is "deluding", which means to "mislead the mind".

"Diluting" means to "make thinner".

BAP is hilarious. Here is a guy who probably couldn't tell you what team Ben Revere played on before the Phils traded for him and he's telling someone else that he's judging him based on some YouTube clips.

This is in the same day where he questioned Revere's defense based on nothing other than the fact that he heard he has a poor arm "like Juan Pierre" and is convinced runners will be taking extra bases on him at will- complete speculation shot down by awh with facts.

My guess is, as an appeals lawyer, he has a similar aversion to factual arguments in his everyday life. It takes real balls to talk down to someone about something when you yourself don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Well, that was a refreshingly civil debate.

I am fairly confident that if the Braves or Nats had picked up Revere, TTI would have a post prepared about how Revere is just a slap hitter who probably isn't even as good as Juan Pierre.

Iceman: Except when awh provided stats that proved BAP wrong, he said "thanks. Maybe it wont be as big an issue as I feared."

When BAP provided stats showing TTI he was wrong, TTI responded by calling him a douchebag.

So, you know.

And I agree 100% with awh on the defensive thing--Revere's range more than makes up for his arm, way more.

But the idea that Revere is some sort of laser line drive hitter who mysteriously only has 33 extra base hits in 1064 plate appearances in his career (seriously) is laughable. If he hit the ball as hard as TTI claims, he'd have way more doubles and triples.

Derek Jeter was a "line drive" ground ball hitter earlier in his career. He had 41 extra base hits in his first 600 plate appearances. Revere is not that.

Those clips are really pretty funny. I don't get this notion that he was driving the ball at all. A solid majority of his "highlight" hits involve the ball skipping inches over an infielder, an overthrow to first or similar misplay, or pure seeing-eye BABIP fairy dust. And while he looked slick in the outfield, he definitely had a few plays where he took a bad route and got bailed out by his speed. But I think in the end we'll get our .650 OPS CF who provides solid value through defense and baserunning, and that's a decent thing to have.

The Astros are now in the AL West. Just FYI.

Jack, let me makeone distinction here:

The "range" vs. "arm" argument was not mine, but quoted from the article I linked.

I happen to agree that sufficient range can make up for a weak arm, but I'm sure we're all going to see at least one play in 2013 where a guy scores or takes an extra base on Revere's arm, so prepare for it.

I did find other articles online that said Revere was working to build arm strength, and was throwing a football to help do it.

What that tells me is he's a guy who recognizes that he needs to try to improve his game and is willing to work at it.

Otherwise, he could end up like this guy, who has done this over an 11 year career:

.269/.309/.367, in 2899 PA, or an average of only 264 PA/yr.

Great speed and good defensively, but limited utility.

Endy Chavez.

If Pat Burell can be a full time corner outfielder for this team.. I'm sure Darin Ruf can too..

Jack- well first of all, BAP was being a 'douchebag' saying douchebag things and taking what TTI had said out of context (surprise surprise).

Not to speak for TTI, but he seemed to simply be making an observation on how the ball comes off Revere's bat, and even amended it by correcting what he said about him hitting 'line drives.' Nothing really controversial about that. BAP responded by saying he only knows what he saw in that YouTube clip (despite TTI referencing what he had seen before) and threw in a d-bag analogy about Picasso and 'Cubism' that served no purpose.

What makes this even worse is that BAP made stupid statements earlier this evening about Revere's defense being overrated because baserunners will run on him at will- an objective statement on performance, not based purely on observation like TTI's statement- that was factually incorrect, able to be disproven by statstics he was too lazy to research. He even admitted he hasn't watched Revere much so he had no clue what he was talking about, yet went ahead and made the argument anyway.

So, you know. It's a stupid argument, but it's also a pretty obvious difference. BAP was rightfully humble with awh because his dumb statement had been proven to be dumb. TTI was simply making an observation, and BAP acted like a douchebag about it. Something tells me this will be a common theme when anyone says anything nice about Ben Revere.

Iceman/TTI: Sheesh. I made a light-hearted little quip about Picasso & Ben Revere & the two of you, who dole out insults as well as anyone on Beerleaguer, throw a huge hissy-fit. Lighten up.

I respect the fact that you have both seen Ben Revere play more than I have & that there may well be aspects of his game that don't show up in the stat sheet. But the flip side of that is that sometimes the stat sheet tells us things that we didn't notice by watching the games, either because we only remember particular kinds of plays or because we don't see enough of the games to get a representative sample. And, when a guy has the highest ground ball percentage of any player in the last decade, and has amassed a grand total of 33 XBHs in 989 major league ABS, he is the very definition of a slap-hitting ground ball hitter. If your eyes are telling you something different, then your eyes are lying something fierce. If Ben Revere isn't a slap-hitting ground ball hitter, then such a creature does not exist.

The new version of Endy Chavez? I certainly hope not.

Things I learned via Beerleaguer today:

1. Ben Revere's weak arm hasn't been a major liability, in terms of runners taking extra bases on fly balls;

2. Ben Revere has the highest ground ball percentage of any everyday player in the last decade;

3. On average, players' performances do not improve in their contract years, but they do get worse in Year 1 after signing with a new team;

4. Giancarlo Stanton's defensive metrics say he's a good defensive outfielder, even though he makes a ton of miscues when he plays the Phillies;

5. Iceman hasn't the foggiest idea what an appeals lawyer actually does.

Jack: Sorry to disappoint you but BAP made his comment and I asked him to go back and read what I wrote. He said I did, and then completely ignored a good portion of it. So yeah, I don't find the need to be civil to a person at that point because it just appears like they are looking to disagree.

Secondly, in his most recent post he continues to ignore pieces of what I said because it doesn't fit his argument against me.

And lastly- hitting balls hard would not necessarily mean more extra base hits. It means nothing more than hitting the ball hard. I even said- he doesn't drive the ball. But he isn't a dink and dunk type singles hitter. he does some of that but it isn't solely how he gets his hits.

The problem in the argument is that some of us have seen Revere play and realize that the stats tell a story about him but those stats don't show the types of hits he gets. So yes it is accurate to say he hits ground balls ~67% of the time, but those groundballs are not really routine or soft hit. The other crowd just looks at stats and makes opinions that way without ever seeing the guy play.

But the idea that Revere is some sort of laser line drive hitter

_______________________________________

And of course I never said those words, and amended my original statement to clarify what I was saying...but you make up things in your own head.

It's funny- for as often as you and BAP talk about clout twisting arguments of people you two are just as good at it.

LOL......you guys are always good for a laugh.

pblunts, Rollins is a far superior hitter to Revere, and in 3 of the last 4 years, has stolen at least 30 bases.

Note, Revere only stole 40 bases last year. So, if Rollins is a better actual hitter, and is still a "distraction" on the bases, why wouldn't you want Rollins in the leadoff spot other than Revere.

I'm not saying Rollins is a good leadoff hitter, but on this team, other than maybe Chase Utley, he's clearly the best choice.

Unless Revere seriously outpaces Rollins in terms of OBP, which Revere will have to prove to Manuel that he can do, there's really no reason that Revere shouldn't be in the bottom part of the order.

As far as Revere, he had 32 infield hits last year, second in the majors to only Norichika Aoki (to be honest, this is the first time I've heard this dude's name).

Anyhow, in 2011, Revere (in only 481 PA), was 5th in the majors in infield hits.

Since 2011, he's second in the majors in infield hits behind only Ichiro Suzuki.

Maybe he hits balls hard, but for whatever reason, the guy is basically the near epitome of a ground-ball, seeing-eye, beat it out to first type hitter.

Whether you've seen him play or not, there'e really no disputing that, because the numbers don't lie.

***Revere does that to some degree, but on top of that he does hit balls hard and gets good cuts at balls. So while he is a ground ball specialist it is not as if he necessarily hits balls soft. Not all singles hitters are created the same.***

Revere is basically Juan Pierre with less power...those line drives in the clips were probably the only line drives he hit all year.

Revere has 5 HRs in 2,819 professional PAs...and 0 in the Majors so far in 1,064 PA.

If this blog were turned into a West Side Story type musical it would be very easy to draw the gang lines between the Jets and Sharks on here.

Anyway- again, I am not saying Revere is an extra base machine. Just saying he does hit balls harder than you would expect from a singles hitter. When you think of a guy who is solely a singles hitter with infield hits you think of a soft slap hitter. Revere does some of that but there are many instances where he makes good contact and hits balls hard. He doesn't drive the ball deep or into gaps though. Pretty much a straight up type hitter.

My problem with just looking at numbers is that they tell a story but it isn't a whole story. It is something that needs to be augmented by seeing him play. It would be like reading the Spark Notes version of a book and saying, "I know everything about this book." You know the plot and the characters but you don't know the subtext or underlying themes and motifs.

And that is my whole problem with this dumb conversation. I am not disagreeing that the guy is a singles hitter. I am saying though he is different than the prototype for that type of player in some ways.

TTI - You should've used Romeo & Juliet. Capulets and Montagues.

It should be clear that for Revere to be successful offensively it will be by getting on base and stealing bases, not by hitting for any kind of power.

2012 was Revere's second full season. His BA was .294 and his OBP .333. The BA is good enough as is, but he needs to get his OBP up to .350 or higher. If he can do that consistently, he'll have a nice career despite the lack of power.

Redburb: I could've, but I picture Jack, BAP, Fatalotti, and NEPP getting together and sitting on some front steps singing songs together.

TTI: Do you watch the Twins every day? I mean, honestly. How many of Ben Revere's hundreds/thousands of ground balls can you have seen? If you can tell me you live in Minnesota or something, maybe I will believe you, but come on. I find it incredibly hard to believe you've seen as much of Revere as you're implying here.

We may be using numbers, but at least we are using something. You seem to just be assuming something based on a few games you've seen of him and some YouTube highlights.

And yes, hitting balls very hard would mean more extra base hits. To hit the ball the hardest, you square up the baseball, which means it travels in the air some. That's a line drive. You hit the ball on the ground when you hit on top of the ball and roll your wrists over. You have, by definition, not hit the ball as hard as you could. Line drive hitters get a good amount of doubles because they hit line drives that find gaps. Revere doesn't do that very often.

Jack -- slap-hitters don't get any hip turn, either. That's hard to teach; it's why some golfers "grip it and rip it" without any instruction; and others dink and dunk despite a dozen lessons.

Why the he88 would RAJ sign a guy without so much as gap power? As I not so eloquently stated last month? Revere better be damn good at stuff not occurring at the dish. Right now, against a ground-ball pitcher with a good infield, he appears to be an automatic out.

cut, because as has been said before, defense and baserunning have value on the diamond, as well. Power isn't the only thing a player can possess, nor is it the most important.

I disagree with Jack about 80% of the time...

cut - He didn't sign Revere. He traded for him. There's a difference.

Greasers and Socs are the dividing lines of beerleaguer in my mind.

"Stay gold Ponyboy....stay gold."

I want to be a Greaser.

"The new version of Endy Chavez? I certainly hope not."


MG, I hope not as well.

However, I believe I've watched enough baseball to realize that the risk does exist that Revere could turn out to be a similar type player.

During his 'peak' years (ages 26-30) Chavez did this:

.278/.320/.373 in 1530 PA, about 300 PA/season

The possibility exists that Revere could turn out to be that type of player, though Revere hit for higher average than Chavez.

Another exception is that Revere, at the same ages in the minors(thorough age 22), has been a much more prolific (more total [198 to 123]) and better (higher success rate[73.7% to 67.5%]) base stealer.

So, he could wind up being an Endy chavez redux with more SB.

Edit:

"...though Revere hit for higher average than Chavez through the same ages in the minors."

Fatalotti-we agree that Rollins is not the ideal leadoff hitter, for this team or any other. But you have to admit, especially at his age, Rollins does not posses the elite speed Revere apparently does.

And while it is a fact he "only" stole 40 bases, it would be good to know why. Did he always have a green light, how were the hitters around him, etc.

I think this is all a moot point because we know Cholly will bat Rollins lead off. I just think it is silly to bat Revere 8th or 9th like some suggest.

I think until Revere proves that he can get on base at a better clip than .319, he deserves to bat lower in the lineup.

Kind of a blitz of posts from all angles over the last 12-18 hours, so I'll just state my viewpoints without knowing exactly who i am agree/disagree with:

#1. As a CF, Range trumps Arm. From everything I've read/heard about Revere, his range is amongst the best in baseball, which would mean that he could be rolling the ball to the INF and still be a plus defender.

#2. Revere is the "slappest" hitter in the league, and over the pat 20 years possibly ever. His career GB/FB ratio is over 5. Only Joey Gathwright has a career GB/FB over 4, the rest of the majors is under that.

There's no rhyme or reason to April baseball. Hitters are behind the pitchers. It's cold. Managers are still tinkering with lineups. Think about all the poor teams that had strong Aprils and faded over the years ...

pblunts, Rollins still possesses good speed, and elite speed isn't the only factor in being a competent to great base stealer. Chase Utley doesn't have elite speed, and yet he is the all time leader in stolen base percentage among players with at least 100 attempts.

Query: What are the specific reasons for optimism that Utley will play many more games than last season?

derek:

1. Blind faith
2.

"I just think it is silly to bat Revere 8th or 9th like some suggest."


pblunts, I disagree. I think that RedBurb has it right, that he needs to prove he can consistently get on base a a higher rate.

He did in the minors, though that appears to be mostly because he hit for high average (i.e.: .379 in A-ball, age 20), not because he got a lot of walks. Also, his K/BB has gotten worse in MLB - that is, he's walking less and striking out more, even last year which was supposedly his "breakout" year.

Don't get me wrong. Though he has his offensive limitations, I like him as a player. He's an elite defender - which is why they made the trade (but I hated giving up Worley).

On a positive note, he's young and 'should' get better, but let's not fool ourselves.

On a bad team like Minnesota he could hit 2nd in the lineup. On a contender like the Phillies he should probably hit in the bottom of the order until he proves otherwise.

Acc. to Utley and Amaro, the difference for Utley this year over last is that he believes resting his knees / being relatively inactive as he was last off-season is detrimental and, so, is engaging in regular activity (running, taking ground balls, weight training) this offseason. Seems counterintuitive but, the whole rehab regimen he did last year seemed to be based on training his knee joint to operate in a certain way and repeating that motion.

He's Chase Utley. We HAVE to believe.

derek, here's why (I posted this yesterday):

Utley played in 83 of the 86 games he was on the roster in 2012, and 103 of 116 games in 2011. So, IF he's able to be on the roster he'll probably be able to play.
Also, he changed his workout and training routine last season after going to Arizona to a new trainer, has said it helped a lot, and has changed his offseason conditioning program as well.

Does that guarantee he'll be healthy and on the roster?

No, but it's reason for 'some' optimism.

Jack obviously doesn't think so.

"But you have to admit, especially at his age, Rollins does not posses the elite speed Revere apparently does."

pblunts, please define "elite speed"?

Top 10% of all players? Top 20%? Some other definition?

With Revere in CF, we may see the range we haven't seen since Garry Lee Maddox. We'll need this with Ruf in LF. If Revere can do for Ruff what GLM did for Luzinski, we'll be OK.

Am I the only one that thinks that Ruf won't make the Opening Day roster without having a phenomenal ST?

"#2. Revere is the "slappest" hitter in the league, and over the pat 20 years possibly ever. His career GB/FB ratio is over 5. Only Joey Gathwright has a career GB/FB over 4, the rest of the majors is under that.

Posted by: lorecore | Friday, January 04, 2013 at 09:54 AM"

Richie Ashburn was a slap hitter as well and he won batting titles. We need guys on base for the big guns. Revere can serve that purpose.

RedBurb: No.

awh, I think it's pretty clear that Rollins doesn't have Revere speed. I don't know how you define elite speed, but there's a gap between Rollins and Revere.

Still Rollins has shown that when healthy the last 4 years, he's still an elite stolen base threat and overall base runner. Since I think Rollins and Revere are likely to produce similar OBPs, and since Rollins is probably not much worse than Revere on the bases, than Rollins needs to be ahead of Revere in the order simply because Rollins has power, whereas Revere does not.

In my ideal lineup world, Ben Revere bats leadoff. But in my ideal world, Ben Revere hits about .320 and gets on base at around a .350 to .360 clip. In the meantime, I think RedBurb cut to the heart of the issue pretty succinctly: "I think until Revere proves that he can get on base at a better clip than .319, he deserves to bat lower in the lineup."

TTI: "And that is my whole problem with this dumb conversation. I am not disagreeing that the guy is a singles hitter. I am saying though [Revere] is different than the prototype for that type of player in some ways."

Revere is actually the definition of this prototype. If you built a slap hitter in a lab, you'd be cloning Ben Revere.

And guess what? If you're the fastest player in baseball and have 0 power, you should be a slap hitter! Its not a knock on Revere, its in his best interest to be what he is with the tools he posseses.

"Richie Ashburn was a slap hitter as well and he won batting titles."

Let me just set the record straight since Iceman is determined to spin everything I say about Ben Revere into a pejorative. There is nothing wrong with being a slap hitter. If Ben Revere can slap his way to a .310 or .320 average, steal 45 bases, and play the kind of elite defense that he supposedly plays, I won't really care that he never gets an extra base hit.

Ashburn walked at a ridiculous rate and a lot of years had a ~2 ratio in BB/K or even better.

In his Phils' career, he had 946 BBs and 455 Ks.

Revere is a contact hitter who rarely works by comparison and doesn't work counts.

Right now, against a ground-ball pitcher with a good infield, he [Revere] appears to be an automatic out.
Posted by: cut_fastball | Friday, January 04, 2013 at 08:57 AM

~~

Good to know.

Batting Revere second is a horrid idea. John Dewan ran the numbers a few years back for Bill James's website:

http://www.billjamesonline.com/stats100/

The #1 hitter comes up with men on base an average of 259 times per season - that's the least of any spot in the lineup. (#9 is second-fewest with 288.) #2 comes up with 323 men on base (5th most in the lineup, and 9 more than the #6 hitter). If you wouldn't consider batting Revere 6th - and you'd be clinically insane if you did - you shouldn't bat him second either.

If Revere bats anywhere outside of the #8/#9 holes, he has to bat leadoff. That means giving him an extra 134 plate appearances (by the averages in the above article) over batting him 8th, though. #9 is the ideal spot for Revere because it allows him to use his speed more than #8, but I can't imagine Cholly entertaining that idea. Discarding the #9 idea, Revere does the least harm at #8.

Unfortunately, Cholly's history tells you that he's likely to bat Revere #2 behind J-Roll:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/2012-batting-orders.shtml

Juan Pierre is pretty much identical to Revere offensively, and he batted #2 in 67 of his 98 starts last year. He batted leadoff 20 times while Rollins batted 3rd in April, and 7th 11 times with Victorino in the #2 slot in July.

I expect we'll see this lineup on Opening Day:

SS Rollins
CF Revere
2B Utley
1B Howard
3B Young
RF Brown/Mayberry
LF Nix/Mayberry/Ruf
C Kratz

Once Ruiz returns, he'll bat 5th, freeing up Young to bat 2nd:

SS Rollins
3B Young
2B Utley
1B Howard
C Ruiz
RF Brown/Mayberry
LF Nix/Mayberry/Ruf
CF Revere

Now I'm really looking forward to the 2013 season. If we figure Ben Revere for 600 ABs, then his 67% ground ball rate should mean 402 balls hit on the ground. That adds up to 402 occasions on which I'll get to say, "But TTI tells me that Ben Revere doesn't hit ground balls."

The funny thing is that I have heard people, not just on BL, say that Revere could be a Pierre clone. It's said with a negative connotation and I don't understand why. If Revere becomes Juan Pierre in his prime, he will be a very productive CF for many years for the Phillies. I think tons of fans would've killed Juan Pierre in CF for the Phillies throughout the 00s. Maybe we will have this new version in the 10s.

Ashburn's career % BB rate (with Phils): 12.1%

Revere's career % BB rate: 5.4%

Ashburn also had a noted ability to place the balls to all fields vs LHP/RHP which is something that I haven't heard about Revere.

It's a bad comparison.

Revere should hit #9 and Cholly should hit the pitcher #8.

Not crazy about leaving JRoll in the leadoff spot with his subpar OBP but rather have him there than Revere.

ColonelTom - Great post and barring other substantial move is probably what Cholly will do even if it is ill-advised.

RedBurb: Yep. If he can be Juan Pierre (with better speed & defense), I'll be elated. Of course, Juan Pierre's peak years began from the moment he hit the major leagues, whereas Revere has played 2 full seasons already & hasn't come anywhere close to Juan Pierre-like production. Nonetheless, there are some reasons to think he could still get there: (1) he improved significantly from Year 1 to Year 2; (2) he is only 24; and (3) he posted great batting averages in the minors.

ctom: good post. Agree 100% with your logic and conclusion.

I've said since Day 1 that Revere is the absolutely perfect guy to hit 9th while the pitcher hits 8th.

He's a guy who, if he gets on base, is the guy you want on in front of the top of the lineup--the reason some people want him to bat leadoff. The problem is, he simply isn't good enough offensively to justify giving 50-70 extra PAs over the course of the year. So hit him 9th--you get the benefit of him sometimes being on base in front of Rollins and Utley and making things happen on the basepaths, but you don't end up giving extra PAs to one of your worst offensive players.

"I don't know how you define elite speed,..."


Fatti, that's my entire point.

To use pblunts own words, did Rollins EVER "possess the elite speed Revere apparently does"?

If, as bap has posited above, Revere is the fastest player in MLB - and THAT is the definition of "elite speed", then Rollins never possessed it.

Don't you remember what Rollins said in 2007 about Michael Bourn?
"There's fast, there's faster, and then there's Michael Bourn."

So, if that is the defnition - being the fastest player - then Rollins never had it.

If, OTOH, the definition is being in a certain percentile or being able to run at a certain speed or faster, then Rollins still might possess "elite speed" in comparison to the rest of MLB, despite having lost a step.

I know to an extent it's a silly argument, but I would argue that no player can steal 30-40 bases in a season without possessing what his own peers would consider "elite speed". He's simply not going to make enough attempts to do it (or get the red light from his manager) unless he has it.

I agree with ctom's post 100% as well.

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EST. 2005

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