Charlie Manuel wanted a centerfielder who can catch and cover ground, naming Michael Bourn as his first example.
Ruben Amaro got his manager the next best thing, and at a much cheaper price than the supposed $18 million a year Bourn wants.
The Phillies acquired 24-year-old centerfielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Vance Worley and top pitching prospect Trevor May.
The trade sent shock waves through the fanbase. “Why would we give up Worley?” “Isn’t May a good prospect?” “Who the hell is Ben Revere? Didn’t he ride a horse?”
That last part, sadly true, is also the most asked question right now. Who exactly is Ben Revere? He is everything the Phillies need right now.
“Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable center fielder who fits nicely with our club,” said Amaro.
Last season, Revere hit .294 with 13 doubles, six triples, 32 RBIs, 40 stolen bases and 70 runs scored in 511 at-bats last season. He also had a .333 on-base percentage and a .342 slugging percentage.
But Revere has never hit a home run, which isn’t too much of a cause for concern for the Phillies, especially since he’s struck out only 100 times in 1064 plate appearances. The team doesn’t need home run hitters, but they need guys who can get on base for when they do hit home runs.
An interesting comparison to Bourn has been made almost immediately by scouts and non-Philly media members. Revere, who has played only two full seasons, has much better numbers than Bourn had in his first two full seasons in the Majors with Houston
Bourn had a .261 average, .325 on-base percentage, 61 extra-base hits and stole 102 bases in his first two full seasons. Revere had a .281 average, .322 on-base percentage, 33 extra-base hits and 74 steals in his first two full seasons.
But the biggest difference between the two is how much discipline Revere plays with, especially at the dish. Bourn struck out 251 times in that two-year span while Revere struck out only 100.
As for what the Phillies gave up, I still like this deal. Yes, May can still turn into something, but there is a possibility some reports from Reading reveled to Amaro that May has some flaws and it could have turned the Phillies off about May.
May went into 2012 as the Phillies number-1 prospect according to Baseball America, but he went on to have a poor season with Double-A Reading. May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA with the R-Phils, lacking any type of command as he had a 4.7 BB/9 and a 1.425 WHIP.
Besides, the Phillies are so deep with pitching prospects right now (Jon Pettibone, Jesse Biddle, Ethan Martin to name a few) so I’m not too upset about giving up May.
As for the veteran, Worley may have been a one-year wonder. Last year may have reveled elbow problems for Worley.
After going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in his first full season in 2011, Worley’s season was cut short to an elbow injury, resulting in a mediocre performance. Worley went 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA as he gave up 2.5 more hits per nine innings than the previous year.
When healthy, Worley is solid, but he doesn’t really have an exciting pitch outside of that devastating two-seamer. In regards to that pitch, it puts a lot of stress on that right elbow, and if Worley continues to rely on it, elbow problems could persist.
Lastly, Worley was a number-4 starter, and those types of starters are easy to find. Players like Brandon McCarthy (Oakland), Anibal Sanchez (Detroit), Edwin Jackson (Washington) and Joe Saunders (Baltimore).
Overall it was a good trade and it filled a huge hole while making the team younger and more athletic. Good, young players don’t come cheap, but the Phillies still managed to not over-give for a good young player.