As a leadoff hitter capable of hitting .300 and stealing 30 bases in a season, Ben Revere should bring plenty of value to the Nats' offense. But much like Daniel Murphy - their other marquee offseason addition - the area of his game he would most like to improve is his his defense.
Revere is replacing Denard Span, who was one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball. Span didn't have the outfield arm of Larry Walker, but there could be a drop-off in Revere, who is known for being below average at throwing to the infield.
"I don’t have the arm of Bryce Harper and some of those guys," Revere admitted. "But my arm is getting stronger each and every year as I get older in this game."
Revere's arm strength, or lack thereof, was addressed by general manager Mike Rizzo this week.
"He can really play the position. He’s a good defensive center fielder with a short-throwing arm, a poor throwing arm. But beyond that, he’s got good range angles and (takes) good routes to the baseballs and makes great plays," Rizzo said.
At 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Revere is built for speed with a small, compact frame. He's smaller than Span and has a short throwing motion from the right side.
He also has a history of bumping his shoulder, as he explained himself.
"I do crash unto a bunch of walls all the time. It’s just getting the strength back sometimes. In the minor league, I had some problems crashing into walls," he said.
Without the natural ability to gun runners out from long range, Revere instead has to be smarter about his throws. He has worked on several things to help his cause over the years.
"The main thing is coaches have always told me just throw it to the cutoff man and do your job right," he said. "Every offseason I’ve been working on it and I believe it’s getting better and better overall. Just gotta keep working on it and hopefully bring a Gold Glove."