After a spring full of Billy Hamilton hype, and a summer filled with Dee Gordon love, Ben Revere ran wild last season and was almost totally ignored.
Now, I have never been a big fan of Ben Revere's, and I'm still not. But when you look at the player rater and you see Revere finishing the season as the 22nd most valuable player in baseball, I decided that I'll tip my cap to a guy who nobody acknowledged, and see if I can change the perception of the average fantasy Joe.
Since power is the coolest thing in baseball, lets start there. Ben Revere hit two home runs this past season. He eclipsed his old career high by two, and home runs will likely be the easiest thing to predict for Revere's future. Next season I bet he hits 0 balls over the wall. This is because Ben Revere knows who he is. He's 5'9" and only weighs 165lbs. He's 26 years old, and things aren't going to change much for him in the height and weight department. Last season out of the 298 players that qualified to have a measurable home run and fly ball distance, Ben was ranked 293rd, his average air ball traveled 250 ft. In 2013 and 2012 he didn't even hit enough fly balls to qualify. So while he is technically trending up, who cares.
Ben hates the fly ball, and avoids it all cost. 14.3% of all batted balls in his career have been fly balls, and I don't see much reason for that number to go up. His career infield fly ball percentage is an incredibly low 3.4%. Last season he had a Reverian 64.7% ground ball percentage, this number led the league, which he tends to do, and was still below his career ground ball percentage. His line drive percentage of 21% was 61st in baseball, it is a strength of his that he has slowly improved, but I wouldn't predict anything higher since LD%s are notoriously fickle.
Now this profile is arguably the least sexy I've ever written about. He also only plays outfield, so I'm just killing his dollar value by the second at this point. But there are pros to this unusual fantasy player's profile.
Despite hitting only 2 home runs, the only two of his career, and having 28 RBI, Revere ended up being a secret fantasy stud in 2014. Over the past 3 seasons Ben Revere has hit 294/333/342, and he's averaged 50 stolen bases per 162. Last season Revere did more of what we expected from him. He quietly put up a .306 AVG, 71 R, and 49 SB, that boosted his value to make him the 9th most productive OF in baseball. That puts Ben "Rampage" Revere between Jacoby Ellsbury and Adam Jones. Now to this day, I would still take both of the players he was between over him 7 days of the week. But where should we value Ben?
In 2015 Ben Revere is ranked as the #168 player and the #49 outfielder. Now I'm no math genius, but I could beat every level of math blaster as a child, and Ben sounds like an incredibly undervalued asset. I'm not the type to go and push people to draft highly touted closers and speedsters high because of how they end up being undervalued year in and year out, but I am telling you that if you can get Ben Revere after the 125th pick, you are getting a great cheap buy for your team with a high floor. This is because Ben Revere is a self-aware man. He has wheels, and he has no issue with focusing his entire game around them. His 7.2 Speed score on Fangraphs was the 3rd best in baseball. He ran a 6.28 60-yard dash time in the minors, one of the fastest ever. He is an enigma in the field, mixing gold glove plays with dropped balls and bad routes.
(Courtesy of CBSsports.com)
So next season, even I won't be targeting Revere, but there comes a time in those mid rounds when you can either take someone like Lance Lynn, and hate yourself in the process, or you can take the easy money, and draft someone like Revere. His average will be good as always, his steals will be elite, his runs will be at least average, and you'll be dancing all the way to the bank.
(Courtesy of PhillyMag.com)