07-05-2012, 08:22 AM #1
The Revere Experiment: Range vs Arm
One of the things Aaron and I talked about on the podcast last winter was how Twins fans were going to be treated to an experiment of sorts in the outfield this season. Ben Revere has outstanding range but a pretty awful arm - the two extremes. The Twins kicked the experiment up a notch by putting him in right field, where range counts for less and the arm for more.
So I've been watching - how many times to I lament Revere's arm vs praise Revere's range?
So far, it's absolutely no contest. I'll take the range every time. There have been times that I've grimaced over the occasional extra base, but they don't compare in quantity or in impact to how many times I think Revere's range has saved extra-base hits.
But I kind of expected to see that, so I may be biased. I'd like to hear other's opinions, especially because there have been some very vocal critics of Revere's arm on these boards in the past. Am I off base?
07-05-2012, 08:42 AM #2
My question is... how many times did you indeed see the extra base taken?
Way too much is made out of Bens arm and there were times when it was embellished to the point of silliness. I still think he should be playing left but the arm issue is such a minor thing.
OF range every day and twice on Sunday.
07-05-2012, 08:50 AM #3
Having a cannon in the outfield is highly overrated, especially those players who have limited range. With Revere, he gets to balls most guys don't, cuts off probable extra base hit opportunities and has really good footwork that allows him to get rid of the ball quickly. I'd take a decent arm with great accuracy over a cannon with mediocre accuracy anyday. How many times during a game do outfielders get a chance to throw a guy out? Maybe every other game?!?
07-05-2012, 08:57 AM #4
John, I think you hit the nail on the head. Range has had a much bigger impact than "the arm". There are no adjustments that came be made to account for range, yet as we have seen many times, the cutoff man has gone way out to help with Ben's arm. There really haven't been too many times that I feel Ben's arm have definitely cost us a base.
Span and Ben in the outfield everyday, has really helped our pitching. They really need the help.
07-05-2012, 09:29 AM #5
Yeah, his range is astonishing. And Dozier and Casilla (especially) both have pretty strong arms for MI that help negate a bit of his arm, too.
07-05-2012, 09:40 AM #6
As long as he can hit the cutoff guy and doesn't just airmail a rainbow to home plate, I'm not worried at all about his arm. There have been quite a few balls that he caught that would have been doubles or triples easily had he missed them (and most likely would've been missed by Doumit/Plouffe/Parmelee/Mauer/Komatsu/Thomas/Mastroianni)
07-05-2012, 09:46 AM #7
I've kind of thought the range would make up for the throwing arm.
Hard to complain when someone is hitting .322 or so as well!!
07-05-2012, 09:54 AM #8
Revere's career in the majors will be determined by his bat. His glove is a plus anywhere in the outfield. Hopefully he increases his walk rate as he develops.
07-05-2012, 09:56 AM #9
I haven't seen an example of a base gained because of Bens arm this year. There will be some to come (not many) but I haven't seen it yet.
07-05-2012, 10:03 AM #10
07-05-2012, 10:05 AM #11
07-05-2012, 10:05 AM #12
It is outs vs bases. Outs are usually much more important than bases. Once in awhile the extra base really matters, but most of the time the difference is negligiible. The flip side of this is stolen bases--taking an extra base while sometimes giving an out. Most think that base stealers need to be successful at least 70-75% of the time to take that extra base. It would figure that if Revere yields an extra base occasionally while getting several more outs that he is a defensive asset.
07-05-2012, 10:09 AM #13
His arm is an issue but even in RF, it's probably outweighed 6 or 7 times over by his range. A Span trade wouldn't surprise me as a way to open up center for Revere, where he could have the most impact.
07-05-2012, 10:11 AM #14
I think the range vs arm factor is not a simple discussion. When the Twins ran Gomez and Span in CF/LF, having Cuddyers cannon in right was probably more of a benefit than having Revere in that same situation.
My other question is how you can quantify this? UZR doesn't take into account reputation. Runners were less apt to run on Cuddyer due to his rep with the strong arm. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you needed quite a bit of time for defensive metrics to be truely accurate (like 1-2 full seasons). Christening the revere experiment a success or failure at this point would be premature.
That being said, I like love our outfield as it is constructed, with one caveat: Span is an above average CF, but he was a Gold Glove LF. I believe the gains would be better if you put Revere in CF and moved Span to RF.
07-05-2012, 10:22 AM #15
Another factor to go with having a strong arm is accuracy. Michael Cuddyer's reputation for gunning down runners had as much to do with throwing strikes to second base from deep right field as did the velocity when the ball left his hand. Sadly, Ben Revere's arm is not only relatively weak, but it's also not very accurate. He may never be a threat to throw out a runner rounding first unless he's running in for a ball. Even then you'll have fast runners testing him, because Revere's arm just isn't very accurate, either.
That said, I agree with most of the guys that observed how much more important it is to have great range and a good glove than a strong arm. Guys don't go to second if their fly ball gets caught, and we have seen how Revere's range has saved the butts of Twins pitchers in the past. Last year Scott Baker should have sent half his paycheck to Ben Revere... ;-)
07-05-2012, 10:22 AM #16
I have said all along on multiple different threads here that Revere is a premier player to come, and his speed and instincts in the outfield significantly make up for his lack of arm strength. Anybody that understands how baseball is played and really gets the outfield position, should know that good reads/good angles to the ball/accurate cut off throws/great speed/relentless effort without care for ones body, outweigh a weak arm any day. Now add the fact that the kid can just flat out hit, and we have a piece of the puzzle that needs to be held on to. I probably watch almost every game the Twins play, and have been watching Ben closely ever since comments were made on here about how runners will have no problem at all going from 1st to 3rd on routine singles to right. Not once have I seen a play where a runner advanced to third due to his lack of arm strength. Where are all the Revere haters now?!
07-05-2012, 10:37 AM #17
Range in the outfield always trumps arm strength.
Cuddyer's defense in RF was overrated because he had a great arm. But he moved like a wood burning stove out there.
07-05-2012, 10:48 AM #18
I agree with your comments John. And doesn't Revere's constant smile say it all?
07-05-2012, 10:56 AM #19
Ben Revere has made me a believer in range > arm (not even close). I also will admit that I thought he was a 4th OF and after watching him play the past 2 months, I really like his game.
07-05-2012, 11:15 AM #20
My gawd, what a love fest we have going here.
I thought I remembered multiple commenters this spring saying Revere would never make it as an outfielder because of his arm. Am I mis-remebering? Are they just ducking for cover? C'mon, someone out there has to take the other side here. Or has this truth just become that self-evident?
Or have some, like nokomosid, changed their minds?