Thursday, October 24, 2013

Phillies 2013 Review: Center Field

For the first time since 2008 the Phillies had a new center fielder. After trading Shane Victorino at the trade deadline to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the trade deadline in 2012 the Phillies acquired Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May.

Revere, who is turned 25 last May is a player who the Phillies have control over for several years. Meaning he cannot hit free agency until 2018. Victorino was free agenct bound after 2012 and with several extremely large contracts the Phillies thought it may be better to deal Victorino for a prospect or two and get a young guy like Revere who does not command as much money as Victorino would since he is not eligible for free agency and is just starting his first year of arbitration this off season.

The book on Revere is that he is extremely fast and a contact hitter. Revere, has zero power and has never hit a major league home run. The Phillies were hoping that Revere would take over the lead off spot because he is more of a conventional lead off hitter than Jimmy Rollins. Early in 2013 Revere struggled. Through the month of April, Revere was only batting .200 with an OBP of .234. Revere found himself batting lower in the order come May.

The month of May was a successful month for Revere. He got out of his April slump and showed the Phillies why he can be part of the future. Revere, started to consistently hit for average and get on base as well as anyone on the team.

Then on July 13, in game one of a day night doubleheader with the Chicago White Sox, Revere fouled a ball off his foot in extra innings and would not play the rest of the season due to a broken foot. This was a turning point in the Phillies season. Once Revere went down the team plummeted.

This left a hole in center field for the Phillies. Cesar Hernandez was called up and got a chance to play center field. Hernandez started 22 games in center field for the Phillies and personally he did not impress me. His defense in center field was mediocre at best and his arm is not very strong due to him primarily being an infielder for the majority of his baseball career. Revere, does not have a strong arm either but he can make up for it with his speed and good routes to baseballs. At the plate Hernandez was inconsistent. Overall, Hernandez logged a .344 OBP however he posted a -0.4 WAR, which is poor.

I do not see Hernandez being very successful in the big leagues. He has not shown a whole lot to fans that signify him being an everyday player. I think he will spend the majority of his career as a bench player who can play multiple positions and can run a little bit, not a lot but a whole lot better than the average runner. Hernandez could get a chance to play everyday at some point in his career with some team but I do not think the Phillies have big plans for him.

I saw Ben Davis of Comcast Sportsnet say that he thinks Cesar Hernandez should start at CF next year for the Phillies. I respect Mr. Davis and his opinions but this one is not very logical. Ben Revere has shown that he can get on base, hit for average, steal bases, play center field well defensively. While Hernandez has not shown much of anything and definitely not better than Revere.

Ben Revere will continue to grow as a player and I do see him develop into a good major league player. How good? I do not see him being a top 5 center fielder but possibly top 10, hopefully a Juan Pierre like player.

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