Ben Revere has been a pleasant surprise for the Minnesota Twins in 2011. Filling in for the injured Denard Span, who had to return to the disabled list last week, Revere has proven he is one of the best defensive outfielders in the major leagues.
His speed allows him to cover a lot of ground, which is necessary in spacious Target Field. That range is on full display in the video as Vladimir Guerrero hits a deep drive to center and Revere makes a jumping, over-the-shoulder catch as he crashes into the wall.
The two catches that immediately come to mind after watching the video are Willie Mays' catch in the 1954 World Series—which has since become known as “The Catch"—and Andruw Jones' leaping grab as he stuck to the wall of Turner Field in 1999, called the “Spiderman Catch.”
Revere has been the ninth best outfielder in baseball this season in terms of defensive runs saved. He has saved 13 runs in 85 games, which equals out to 25 runs over the course of the entire season. Although more innings are needed to stabilize the number, his UZR of 8.4 also represents a strong outfielder.
While Revere's offense has left a lot to be desired, especially over the last two months, his defense alone makes him a solid play in center field. There are only so many good two-way center fielders that somebody who can play great defense with below average offense is still very valuable.
That fact is illustrated by his 1.3 fWAR, despite sub par wRC+ (70) and wOBA (.274) numbers. That means Revere has been worth 1.3 wins more than a replacement to the Twins and it's almost all because of his tremendous defense in the outfield.
Revere might not ever become more than an average hitter, but he will continue to make amazing catches like the one off the bat of Guerrero and that makes him a useful commodity.