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Ben Revere Rides to Philly

There are going to be buckets of “ones by land” in Philadelphia next year. Ben Revere has been traded to the Phillies, where he’ll continue to ply his speed-based game. Most fantasy players don’t have to be concerned with questions about defense or patience, but there are flaws to his game that are worth spotlighting.

It’s tempting to care about the park factors at play. Minnesota suppresses home runs by eight percent! Philadelphia augments home runs by four percent! All the home runs! Ben Revere has hit five home runs in 2819 professional plate appearances. He hasn’t hit a major league home run yet. He has a 67.7% ground-ball rate. The park won’t matter for his power because he has no power.

He can still help you in a few categories. Revere stole 40 bases — good for third in the big leagues — in only 553 plate appearances. Give him 703 plate appearances like Michael Bourn got last year, and Revere should out-steal the old man. After all, he’ll turn 25 next season and has five years of youth on the older free agent. You have to believe in Bourn’s power surge — nine home runs last year after holding stead around two-to-three a year for most of his career — in order to rate Bourn much higher than Revere.

There are also lineup factors. Bourn will walk more. His career walk rate is right around average while Revere has consistently shown an inability to take the free pass at a ‘passable’ rate. It’s unclear where Bourn will end up next year, but the Phillies did end up in the top half of the National League in runs scored last season. Maybe that will help offset some of the difference that comes from walk rate.

This sort of pattern actually holds steady across other facets of the their respective games. Bourn has more power, but strikes out more. One of those things helps your batting average, one hurts. Revere has more speed, but less power. That means more stolen bases with equal playing time, and fewer home runs.

What you’re left with is two similar players in 2013. And one should be more expensive than the other, leaving Revere as a possible value pick.

But before you get too excited, remember Juan Pierre. There isn’t a more similar player to Ben Revere than Juan Pierre, and we’re all well versed in the pratfalls associated with rostering a no-power player. If you had Juan Pierre in a slot, you’d be a step up in stolen bases, but you’d also be twenty homers short of an average slot in a lineup. Pierre (or Revere) means you need to find a forty-home-run player just to field an average power lineup.

Six players in baseball hit 40 or more home runs last year.