Monday, May 23, 2011

Impressions of Ben Revere

A hard slide from Ben Revere (Photo: AP)
After a disappointing sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, the Twins announced some roster moves that were not unexpected. Jim Thome and Jason Repko are ready to return from their stints on the DL. That means that Ben Revere and Luke Hughes will be sent down to make room for the return of these regular players.

After the game, Ron Gardenhire seemed like he was really torn to see Revere heading back to AAA. Gardy was impressed with the skills that Revere brought to the table. He adds above average defense and outstanding speed to a team that could use a spark plug on the bench.

Revere has only spent part of a season at the AAA level so there is some learning that needs to continue to happen with him. His numbers this year at the big league level reflect that lack of minor league seasoning.

Revere's Stat Line (2011 Season)
AB: 33
H: 8
BA: .242
R: 2
SB: 2
OBP: .265

The Twins will let him go down and play on a consistent basis at the AAA level to gain the experience he needs. His on-base percentage and batting average need to increase at the major league level so he can utilize his greatest asset, his speed. His response in the next couple weeks will be interesting to watch. How will he react to being back down at the minor league level? Can he continue to produce and show the big league club that he wants to be part of their squad?

From there, it is going to depend on the performance of Jason Repko. If Repko struggles in his return from injury, the Twins could turn back to the speedy Revere. The problem could be that Repko is not going to be given many opportunities to show that he deserves to stay with the team. Thome is returning from injury and that means Gardy has to find room for Cuddyer, Kubel, and Thome to get there at-bats. Repko will be used  in much of the same role that he was in last season, a defensive replacement or a pinch runner. It also does not help Repko that the man that is in charge of making the line-up wants Revere to be taking his place.

Twins fans know what to expect from Revere after his stints with the club the last two seasons. He has made some outstanding defensive plays. But to go along with those plays, there have been some rookie mistakes that have cost the Twins runs. His arm is lacking in strength but that should not be news to those that have followed his minor league career. To be an everyday player with the Twins, his offensive statistics are going to need to show improvement. But he could easily fill the role of Jason Repko on the current squad.

The question is, do the Twins want to use Revere sparingly in the majors? Or should he be allowed to continue to develop in the minor leagues?

Gardenhire wants Revere in the majors. The front office wants him to continue to spend time in the minor leagues. Only time will tell, who will win out in this battle over Ben Revere...

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