Establish the Lead Off Position
6. Ben Revere for Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero
After the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993 it would be 22 years before the franchise would see themselves in the playoffs again. When it came too late July and the non-wavier trade deadline approaching, the Toronto Blue Jays were six games behind the top spot in the AL East. GM Alex Anthopoulos felt his team was underachieving so he was making some big moves and during these trades, he moved the teams’ lead-off hitter Jose Reyes. This trade left a huge hole at the top of the order and manager John Gibbons was forced to put Troy Tulowitzki leading off games on his arrival to Toronto.
Anthopoulos acquired Ben Revere from the Philadelphia Phillies for a couple of prospects in Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero. It took almost a month into his arrival before John Gibbons would put Revere into the permanent lead-off position as he continued putting Tulowitzki in that spot. However, Revere was a prototypical lead-off man, he could get on base and he had a lot of speed, so it was just a matter of time before he found himself there.
Coming from the Phillies he had a .303 average and 95 stolen bases over two and a half seasons. He fit in immediately with the Blue Jays and fans loved him, especially after he challenged fans to play a game of NHL on Play Station 4 against him during a post-game interview.
Revere finished the regular season for the Blue Jays in the lead-off position where he batted .319 with 11 extra-base hits and 7 stolen bases. When it came to the ALDS, Revere was a bit part of the win as he was tied for the series lead in hits with seven ( 7 for 23, .304) without striking out in any game.
Revere did struggle at the plate in the ALCS as he struck out seven times over six games and batted just .208, however it was his catch in game 6 of the series that will be most remembered. With the Blue Jays down 2-1 in the seventh inning and Mike Moustakas at first base, Salvador Perez hit what looked like extra bases to the left-field wall.
Revere leaped up going against the wall and made a remarkable catch to save extra bases. Moustakas would come around to score later in the inning and the Blue Jays wound up losing the game and series, but it would have been a lot worse was it not been for Revere.
Ben Revere would be traded that offseason for Drew Storen, but this article isn’t about bad trades so we won’t get into that.