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Phillies Exit Interview: Ben Revere

Ben Revere weighs in on the value of averageness, his relative youth, and clears the air on his midseason abandonment of Pharrell Williams' "Happy" as his walk-up music.

Mitchell Leff

Up next in this series is one of the more confusing players on the Phillies--Ben Revere. There are certainly things Revere does very well, such as running fast, making contact with pitches, hitting for average, that make him an ideal candidate to hit leadoff, under that role's traditional conceiving. Despite those clear strengths that mirror those of a traditional leadoff hitter, you'd be hard-pressed to find many internet-based baseball people singing his praises in that regard because, despite a high average (5th out of 65 qualifying National Leaguers) and an aversion to strikeouts (lowest K% in the NL) he doesn't possess elite on-base skills (40th in OBP and lowest BB%  in that same sample). Despite such uncertainties, Revere led off in all but 9 games he started due to a confluence of managerial stubbornness and a lack of viable alternatives.

The Revere conundrum continues in the field where, despite elite speed, he rates as below average across most, if not all, defensive metrics. The explanation for this phenomenon is that he negates his elite speed with poor reads and circuitous routes to balls. To make matters worse, his arm deterred baserunners about as well as a hoplite-based military would an invading nation.

Luckily, Ben has set aside some time during his busy offseason for the purpose of resolving these conundrums regarding his usefulness and value as a player.

If I had traded you midseason, would the team have done better or worse?

I mean, the answer to that question always depends on what you would have been able to fetch in return for me, but I can tell you one thing--there would have been 95% fewer smiles in the locker room this season without me.

On a more serious track, let's all keep in mind that, having just completed my age-26 season, I'm a league average centerfielder under team control through 2018. That's not nothing; league average production is harder to come by than it sounds, especially at a premium defensive position. So, while it's certainly possible that you might have received greater present value for me in a trade, I'll probably provide more value going forward than any return you could have reasonably expected.

All my options are open for next year. Should I trade you, release you, or keep you?

I think I stated the case for keeping me above. I'm relatively young--practically a toddler compared to my current teammates--and already deliver a level of production that is not easy to replace, especially given the state of your farm system. Furthermore, my defense is consistently rated poorly, probably because I frequently find myself taking circuitous routes to fly balls. I have the raw speed to be an elite defensive centerfielder. Given more reps and seasoning at the position, it's possible I could become the defensive wizard my athletic tools suggest. Sure, my noodle of an arm will likely always remain a liability, but if I catch everything in sight, I think that sin will be forgiven.

Do you think you will be part of the next great Phillies team?

I'm as likely as any other member of the current roster to be on said team, especially given the lack of organizational depth in the outfield, and centerfield, specifically.

Overall, explain to me how your time with the Philadelphia Phillies has been the highlight of your life.

Don't be misled by my mid-season walkup music departure from Pharrell Williams' "Happy;" my years with the Phillies have been the best of my life. They showed they actually believe in me. Despite posting 3 WAR in my age 24 season, the Twins traded me for spare parts. I know, I know, you can turn that around and say that the Phillies only valued me as much as the sum of a severely regression-due starter and a non-strike-throwing minor league pitcher, but the Twins actually got rid of me to obtain that crap. Fuck those guys; Viva la Phillies.

On a scale of 1-0, with 10 being the worst, how do you rate on the "it's my fault we're in this freaking mess and finished in last place" scale?"

You know, I just don't really think about these things. We're all out there doing our best and trying to have a good time. Just kidding with ya, I'm probably a 3 or 4. I certainly wasn't an elite player like Cole Hamels, but I helped y'all out. Remember, I finished 5th in the NL in batting and stole 49 bases with an 86% success rate. I'm not going to cost you a ton for the next couple years, so I promise to help you get out of this mess.