Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Off of a strong sprign training, Ben Revere could see time as the leadoff hitter in 2013.
For the past 13 years, Jimmy Rollins has been a mainstay not only in the Phillies lineup but as their leadoff hitter. While his status as the best shortstop to ever don red and white pinstripes may be debatable, no one can deny that Rollins has been a key cog in the Phillies' success as a leader both on and off the field.
And then there is Ben Revere.
The just 24-year-old Revere has batted either leadoff or second primarily over the course of his three-year career. He is a .263 hitter in the leadoff spot but a significantly better .307 hitter when hitting second. Revere's speed makes it a must to have him in the top two, but should he be the Phillies leadoff man?
Charlie Manuel says yes. Well, he says, "We'll see," to be exact.
According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Manuel is quoted as saying, "I will hit them first and second see how we look. Hit Rollins second sometimes, Ben first; Rollins first, Ben second. We'll see."
While this does not seem to be a ringing endorsement for either guy, Manuel's consideration of Revere is more than most in his position have received in the past. Speedster Juan Pierre couldn't wrestle the leadoff spot from Rollins and neither could Shane Victorino.
But this year, the Phillies may finally be seeing what others have known for years, and that is that Rollins is not a leadoff hitter. He doesn't take walks, he doesn't take pitches and his on-base percentage is average when at its best.
Now to Rollins' defense. Revere doesn't exactly have a glowing on-base percentage, either. The difference is that Revere has never hit a home run in his career and has no illusions about his power. As a result, he puts the ball on the ground more as opposed to Rollins, who has become the pop-up king in years past.
So regardless of the stats, one of these guys will be hitting leadoff, and it may just be determined on the right- or left-handed arm of the opposing guy on the mound.