Blue Jays in 2016: Could Ben Revere Have A Break Out Year?


Could Ben Revere have a break out year in 2016? Given both Revere’s and the team’s success at the plate last season, Jays fans wouldn’t necessarily point to Revere as a player whose improved performance could be a big boost to the club in 2016. Especially since Revere is a bona fide leadoff hitter, the Jays would definitely be satisfied if Revere were to replicate his 2015 season totals  – .306/.342/.377 slash line with 181 hits, 84 runs and a .316 wOBA with both Philadelphia and Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Despite a very successful season in 2015 with both the Phillies and the Blue Jays, taking a look at Revere’s returns after he was traded at the deadline, the former Minnesota Twins prospect had a noticeable improvement in a few offensive metrics that suggest that Revere could be an even bigger contributor to the Jays offence in 2016.

Revere holds a very impressive career resume – a career .295 hitter, he’s racked up more than 30 stolen bases in all his seasons of over 100 games played and was the leader in hits in the National League in 2014. Once Revere reached Toronto, in the 56 games he played in blue and white, he outperformed most of his career averages and a full season at the top of a dominant batting lineup certainly could have him posting All Star numbers in 2016.

After joining the Jays, Revere scored 35 runs in only 56 games. That’s 0.625 runs/game, above his 0.510 with the Phillies in 2015 and his .494 career average. There’s no question that Revere was a beneficiary of the Donaldson-Bautista-Encarnacion “Gauntlet” behind him and one wonders what his production would look like for a full season hitting before these premier offensive juggernauts. If Revere were to score at the same rate as he did after joining the Jays, he would be on pace to score 101 runs. Looking at the final stat leaders from 2015, that would put him in the MLB top 10 and certainly could add to the Jays’ outstanding run differential they hope to carry over into 2016.

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In an attempt to isolate Revere’s individual performance, a few other metrics suggested that the outfielder improved with the Jays. His wOBA increased to .322 (his career high, above the .311 mark he posted with the Phillies and .300 career average), his wRC+ jumped to 102 (15 points higher than his career 87 average) and even his slugging percentage was over 40 points higher than his career average. How much this statistical improvement could be credited due to the friendly hitting conditions at the Rogers Centre remains to be analyzed, but it’s clear that Revere was possibly experiencing the most offensive success in his career to date after being traded to the Jays.

While Revere is often regarded as one of the best contact hitters in the game, there were more metrics that stood out as noteworthy with the Jays. With the Jays, Revere continued putting better contact on the ball with a 26.3% line drive %, above his career mark of 21.8%. His hard contact rate of 21.1% was above his 17.3% career average and after looking at more metrics, it becomes very clear the effect of hitting before the likely AL MVP in the Jays’ lineup. Whether or not Revere is a better hitter as a result of an improved approach at the plate or because of the threatening batters behind him (and better pitches to hit) it’s very exciting to begin projecting what offensive numbers he may post in 2016.

Next: Blue Jays 2015 Year End Awards: Best Hitter

Going into the offseason, it was evident that the Jays were in a position to strengthen their team by improving the rotation. While front office may go after a free agent target like Chris Davis, they must also be considering what the impact of a full year of Ben Revere may have on the club. Revere has proven himself to be a very good leadoff hitter in the big leagues, but his best days may still be ahead of him. While he didn’t have an outstanding post-season and his failed sacrifice bunt attempt in game 6 of the ALCS may still be fresh in the minds of Jays fans, we should all get excited about the potential impact to an already explosive offence that Revere could have in 2016.