02 January 2010
3. Ben Revere, OF, 21 years old
2009 stats: .311/.372/.369, 517 PA, 2 HR, 34/40 K/BB, 45/17 SB/CS at Ft. Myers (A+)
Last year’s rank: 2
Acquired: 1st round selection of the Minnesota Twins in the 2007 draft
When this high-schooler was drafted a few years ago, there were many people who questioned the Twins' brass. Revere was considered to be one of the fastest guys in the '07 draft class, but had no shortage of flaws. His arm was below-average, he had little power, and no offensive bat to speak of.
What Minnesota saw, though, was a young kid with tremendous speed, great makeup, and an eager desire to improve as he aged. Two years have passed, and Revere is proving all doubters wrong. Although he still lacks a powerful swing, Revere was just named the Twins' Minor-League Hitter of the Year, his second award in as many years.
This past season Revere managed to hit .311/.372/.369 in the notoriously pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He stole 45 bases in 62 attempts, which was third in the league. One area of concern among some scouts was Revere's lack of patience at the plate. For whatever reason, some viewed the young lefty as a free-swinger. Revere quieted those scouts this past season, when he drew 40 walks and struck out just 34 times.
Revere has steadily progressed through the system, and is the organization's best hitter. Power-wise, several scouts remain sure that Revere will be able to hit around 15 home runs per season once he hits the major leagues. Through his first three years in the minor leagues, Revere has yet to hit more than two in a single-season.
Considering Revere's muscular frame, his lack of throwing power is puzzling. The young outfielder displays some great gap power, so his throwing technique is probably to blame for his below-average defensive rating.
He remains below-average defensively, but lacks nothing a few years of further instruction couldn't remedy. Last year, Revere spent some time in extended spring training to work on a throwing program that has improved both his throwing strength and accuracy. Slowly yet surely, Revere is utilizing all of his abilities.
Ideal scenario: Revere will start the 2010 season in Double-A New Britain, where he will most likely spend the entire year. The Twins are known for their incredibly conservative approach towards top prospects, and Revere likely won't be rushed. He will spend the 2011 season in Triple-A Rochester, and could break into the Big Leagues either that September or out of Spring Training in 2012.
Path to the majors: Things could get interesting for the Twins' outfield in a few years. The majority of Minnesota's top prospects are outfielders, and they will contribute to an already-jammed outfield. Denard Span, Delmon Young, Angel Morales, Aaron Hicks, Ben Revere, Joe Benson, Rene Tosoni, and several others could be competing for the same three positions. This is obviously a good problem to have, but it could result in a position change for many elite prospects.