Ben Revere has always caught the attention of Minnesota Twins fans.
It all started in 2007 when the Twins drafted the center fielder out of high school in the first round. That pick caught a lot of flak from many of the so-called experts, who said the Twins could have waited a round to get him.
But all Revere has done is hit in the minors. And in his first big league spring training, he’s kept on hitting.
Revere went 0-for-4 on Thursday against Pittsburgh to drop his batting average to a still-respectful .281 in 32 at-bats. His performance hasn’t been without hiccups, as he’s struck out 10 times already, roughly a third of the time he’s come to the plate. But it’s all not bad for a guy in his first camp whose never played above A ball.
For his minor league career – which consists of three seasons between rookie ball and Class A ball – he’s hit .337 for his career. That includes a .379 season at Class A Beloit in 2008.
And the thing with Revere’s playing time is that the Twins are thin in center field behind Denard Span. Most A ball players in camp would be brought in late in games to face other A ball players and spell the regulars. But Revere has started quite a few games so far this spring, facing big league pitchers and big league defenses.
Yes, of course, it’s just spring. But Revere’s performance has been so impressive that Star Tribune writer La Velle E. Neal wrote on his blog that he thinks Revere would be big league ready with another half-season in the minor leagues. That would be a quick jump through a system that’s known for systematically moving players up the minor league ladder.
With outfielders Jason Kubel and Michael Cuddyer scheduled to become free agents after 2011, it’s safe to say Revere is a candidate for everyday work in the very near future.