Back on November 4, after the Angels had traded for Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Cameron Maybin, I wrote “Angels Make The First Trade of The Offseason – Why?”. In the post I wrote about the vast wasteland that was left field for the 2016 Los Angeles Angels and predicted that a left field entrusted to Maybin would be no better in 2017. Well, today the team acquired what appears to be the left-handed half of a very potential platoon with Maybin, 28-year-old free agent and lefty hitting Ben Revere. In looking at the careers of
the two, they appear to be absolute mirror images of each other, and not just because they hit from opposite sides of the plate.
As I wrote last month, the 29-year-old right-hand hitting Mabyin, once a super-prospect, had suffered through a horrid nine-year major league career as an underachieving journeyman, never coming close to reaching that promise he appeared to posses when he was chosen as the 10th overall pick in baseball’s 2005 draft and given a $2.65 million signing bonus, until his 2016 return to his original team, the Detroit Tigers. In 94 games last season in a Tigers’ uniform, Maybin hit .315, 64 points above his lifetime average.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Angles’ acquisition de jour, Revere. The 28-year-old had been a solid performer throughout the first five years of his career, though also bounding among three different teams. But the stats don’t necessarily lie: Revere went into the 2016 season with a .295 lifetime batting average. While he has no power, never hitting more than two home runs in a season, he seldom strikes out, but also he never, ever walks, only once in his career having as many as 30 bases on balls in a season.
While Maybin had a career year in 2016, the previously solid hitting Revere experienced a career worst season, hitting only .217 over 350 at bats with the Nationals. So the questions are, did Maybin have a once-in-a-lifetime season and will he revert to form as a .250 hitter,
and did Revere lose it, now becoming a low-.200s batter, with no power and barely adequate defensive skills and a below caliber arm, or will he revert to form, and again hit in the .290s or higher?
Personally, I would not gamble on either one having a solid 2017, and among those currently on the Angels’ roster – it’s very unlikely that yet another outfielder would be acquired before a need arises mid-season – the best choice for left field in Angels’ Stadium is, as I said last month, 25-year-old first-basemen-third baseman-left fielder Jefry Marte, who showed solid power in a half season of moving from one position to another, and never knowing if he would even be in the lineup on any given day.