As we get ready for another season of fantasy baseball, it’s time to survey the teams and find some players you think are ready for a breakout season. Throughout spring training, FantasyCPR will bring you plenty of coverage to help you get ready for your drafts. One way we’ll do that is by profiling players that appear to be on the verge of a breakout season. Today we start that series with one of the many players who have a new home for this season, Ben Revere.
The Twins dealt Denard Span this offseason apparently opening their everyday job for Ben Revere, but then traded Revere to Philadelphia for Vance Worley and minor-leaguer Trevor May. Revere is expected to be the everyday center fielder for the Phillies, but his fantasy value will be tied to where Manager Charlie Manuel decided to hit him in the batting lineup.
It’s important that you realize what you’re getting with Revere if you decide to draft him. He isn’t going to give you power. In face, in 1,064 MLB at-bats he’s hit exactly zero home runs. At some point this year, he may get his first homer on a line-drive out of Citizens Bank Park at some point this year, but even one home run should be nothing more than a pleasant surprise for your fantasy team.
The way Revere represents some serious value though is in his average, runs, and steals. The best case his owners will be hoping for is that he improves his walk-rate to the point that Charlie Manuel puts him in the one or two slot in the Phillies lineup. He provides a spark and energy from the top of the lineup which he’s already demonstrated in spring training when the Phillies visited his former team the Twins and he went 2-4 with a steal and a pair of runs scored. He was atop the Phillies lineup as they played the Braves as well as he went 2-3 with a double and two more runs scored.
He’s averaged 37 steals over the past two seasons and had a career-high 40 last season in 124 games played. While stealing bases hasn’t been a problem, getting on base is the key for Revere. He hit .294 last season with a .333 OBP. At one point last season, he hit .358 during a 39-game stretch. If he can get on base and steal some bases, he should be able to pile up the runs scored with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Delmon Young projected to be the meat of the Phillies lineup. I think he could be among the NL leaders in steals and runs at the end of the year if he can secure the spot in the top of the order.
The other benefit to drafter Revere is that he will have value even if he doesn’t breakout this year. The Phillies are giving him the everyday center field spot which means he should at least be able to provide steals. Worst case, he’s a one-category provider. Best case, he’s a breakout performer that provides steals, average, and runs among the best leadoff hitters in the game.
Ultimately, I’d target Revere in the mid-to-late rounds. He’s not worth an early round gamble but makes a great sleeper pick. Monitor his progress this spring training and see where he ends up in the Phils lineup. If he’s at the top, move him up several spots in your rankings so you can grab him ahead of your competition this season.