Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Span on Revere: He can take over a game

If you want a scouting report on new Phillies center fielder Ben Revere, his former Minnesota Twins teammate Denard Span is more than willing to offer one.

Span on Revere: He can take over a game

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Philadelphia Phillies´ Ben Revere stretches during a workout at baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Ben Revere stretches during a workout at baseball spring training, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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VIERA, Fla. -- If you want a scouting report on new Phillies center fielder Ben Revere, his former Minnesota Twins teammate Denard Span is more than willing to offer one.

"First off, the Phillies got a real, real good player and a real good teammate," Span said before working out with his new team, the Washington Nationals Wednesday morning. "You'll see he's goofy, has a good sense of humor and likes to have fun. He's just a guy who brings it hard every day he is on the field. He plays the game the right way."

Span and Revere spent parts of three seasons together as teammates with the Twins, but both were traded to National League East teams in the offseason. Span, who turns 29 in a week, was dealt for Nationals' top pitching prospect Alex Meyer. Revere, 24, joined the Phillies in exchange for pitchers Vance Worley and Trevor May.

Because of Span's presence, Revere spent most of his time playing right field last season in Minnesota, but his speed makes him a natural center fielder. Span said he warned his new Nationals teammates about his former Twins teammate.

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"I already told some of our guys that we're going to have to pay close attention to him," Span said. "If you let him, he will take over a game. He has the ability to change games with his speed both offensively and defensively. Every time he gets on base he's looking to steal second and third. He's a guy with plus-plus range as a center fielder."

Span admitted he could not beat Revere in a foot race at this stage of their careers.

"I'm five years older than him," Span said. "If you had asked me about four years ago, I would say me. But right now, present day, he'd get me. I give him the nod. I'm 29 and he's 24 or 25."

Revere may have plus-plus range defensively, but so far in his career he has shown little power. He has 33 extra-base hits and zero home runs in 1,064 big-league plate appearances. Revere has launched some balls out of the park during batting practice in his first spring training with the Phillies.

"You know what, if he's going to hit one, it will definitely be in Philly because Philly is definitely a hitter's ballpark and I can see him hitting more than one in that ballpark," Span said. "If he doesn't hit one in that park, I'm going to have to have a talk with him."



Inquirer Columnist
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