The LA Angels and Ben Revere have always been a match made in heaven. Now it’s finally paying dividends at the perfect time.
Ben Revere was widely regarded as one of the game’s top-tier outfielders from about 2012-2015. Despite never earning an all-star appearance, Revere provided spectacular defense, amazing contact hitting, and elite base running skills for both the Twins and Phillies.
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After the Toronto Blue Jays traded Revere to the Washington Nationals for Drew Storen in the offseason of 2015, the outfielder’s career went downhill. Numerous DL stints coupled with a disastrous .217 average and .560 OPS virtually guaranteed that he would not be a starter in 2017.
This created a perfect situation for the Angels. Prior to the 2015 trade deadline, Revere was extremely high on their wish list. The problem was the Halo’s farm couldn’t meet the asking price, so David Murphy was the consolation prize. Nonetheless, the Angels were always intrigued by Revere and now they had the chance to bring him home.
Now the Angels already had their starting left fielder in Cameron Maybin, who plays a similar style to Revere. Maybin is also younger and was coming off a career season. On the other hand, he had a history of injury problems and his career 2016 campaign was slightly abnormal. Therefore should Maybin falter, Revere would have the opportunity to start and prove he is still an everyday player.
Things looked up for Revere early on. He was arguably the team’s best player in Spring Training. In 25 games he posted a .414/.484/.554 slashline. This raised the question about whether he should be the starting left fielder over Maybin.
Of course this is just Spring. Maybin remained the starter, and appeared that Mike Scioscia made the correct call. In the allotted fourth outfielder playing time, Revere posted a .184 average over the month of April with an embarrassing .442 OPS.
The struggles continue into May, as Revere hit .227 over the course of the month. Furthermore, his batting average for the season dipped as low as .203 on June 18th. Many fans across all platforms began to demand for Revere to be DFA’d with other options such as Shane Robinson and Eric Young Jr performing much better.
Everything was looking bleak for Revere, but his best performance of the season saved his own.
Luckily the turning point came on June 25th. After a 3 for 4 performance against the Red Sox, the season started to turn around.
Since then, he’s batted .315 (35 for 111) including an 11-game hitting streak. Both Mike Trout and Cameron Maybin have missed time since then, so Revere’s success wasn’t missed by fans and the media.
Currently Maybin has recovered, but is still dealing with lingering knee issues. Scioscia has persisted Maybin will remain the starter despite Revere’s strong play and Maybin’s streakiness. The tables have very much turned for the veteran, as he’s progressed from nearly being cut to many calling for added playing time.
With less than 40 games remaining this season and the Angels being locked in the wild card race, Scioscia has a crucial decision to make regarding left field.
No matter what decision the skipper comes to, Revere will continue to prove he can still be an everyday player in this league. His play down the stretch could more than likely be the deciding factor for many teams interested.