What a difference a BABIP makes, huh? Ben Revere, the 25-year-old we gave up Vance Worley for in the off-season to be our center-fielder of the future, hasn't looked like that much different a player the last month, but turn around and all of a sudden he's hitting .302. This is no small feat for a guy who was struggling to stay above the Mendoza Line for the majority of April, and a guy who even just one month ago was still languishing in the low .240s--which, when combined with his total lack of power and his sporadically disastrous center-fielding, had him in Worst Every Day Player in Baseball talks, and not undeservedly so.
So what happened? Well, BABIP happened. Revere's batting average on balls in play was a scant .237 through April, an unsustainably low rate that was the biggest contributor to him hitting .200 overall. Then, check how his average has mushroomed over the months since:
That'll help. It also helps that Revere is hitting a ridiculous .642 on balls hit to the outfield, basically meaning that all Ben has to do is get the ball out of the infield to have a 2 in 3 chance of getting a hit. What's more, Revere's hit nearly twice as many line drives as fly balls--the latter are far more likely to be converted into outs--and that when he hits the ball out of the infield, it's rarely far enough for the outfield to even have a chance of getting to it. Still, not even Wee Willie Keeler was THAT good at hitting 'em where they ain't, so expect some of these numbers to come down a little over time.
Nonetheless, over this last month, Revere has been one of they key cogs in an offense that has finally started to show a little life. Ben's hit .407 with seven steals and 17 runs over the past month (27 games), with multiple hits in an incredible 14 of those 27 games, including five of his last six. And after averaging under four runs a game the first two months of the season, the Phils are starting to creep towards averaging five a game for the last two, with Ben now third on the team in runs scored with 37, just behind Chase Utley's 38 and well behind Domonic Brown's 49.
Of course, even with his batting average a hair over .300 and with his stolen bases at a team-high 21, Ben Revere is still hardly pushing for All-Star snub status. His power is still Juan Pierre-pathetic--his slugging percentage is only 50 points higher than his batting average, and the dude has exactly as many extra-base hits as Freddy Galvis (in over twice the at bats). And despite his speed, his defense in center is still an adventure--he's still rated as a minor negative on that side of the ball at both Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs.
Nonetheless, as long as he hits over .300, swipes bags at a decent rate and covers ground in center, Revere will have value of some degree to the Phillies. At the very least, he appears to be comfortably out of that Worst Every Day Player conversation. And besides, with his 7.21 ERA and WHIP of nearly 2.00, Vance Worley hasn't exactly gone Nik Vucevic on us over in Minnesota. Revere may or may not be our center fielder of the future, but he's not totally killing us, which is pretty much a win in RAJ's books these days.