Ben Revere is taking advantage of his opportunity. With the Twins hit hard by injuries this year, the 23-year-old speedster got the call from Triple-A Rochester and he has run with the opportunity, accumulating 25 steals and hitting .252 in nearly 100 games. A native of Atlanta, Revere, who hits left-handed, recently answered questions from MLBPLAYERS.com.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What has this experience been like for you so far?
Ben Revere: It has been a lot of fun. I didn't expect to be up here for this long. It has been such a good experience for me to come up and to play with these guys. I am learning the game and playing against guys that I watched when I was younger and when I was in high school. I am trying to make the best of it and make the best of these remaining games.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Injuries hit this club hard, and you got the call. What has this opportunity meant for you?
Revere: I think often about if guys were healthy where I would fit in. It goes through your mind. That is how baseball works, though. Someone gets hurt, and you come up. It is about showing them that you can play at this level. I have gotten my shot. I am thankful for this opportunity.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You have 25 stolen bases this year at the big league level. How much does speed benefit your game?
Revere: A lot. I try to get on base as much as possible, whether it is by walk or hit. I try to get on, steal a base and get into scoring position. These guys then will bring me in. That is the type of game I try and play. It is the kind of game the Twins want me to play. That is why they drafted me. I am learning from guys like Denard Span and others about how to approach this game to make me better.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You still are looking for that first home run. How will you celebrate?
Revere: It is going to be good. It is going to be awesome. It will come. Usually I get one or two a year. They come in random spots. Right now, it is about line drives and not home runs. My focus is on my batting average, getting on base and trying to win games.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You are from Atlanta. Did you grow up a fan of the Braves?
Revere: Yes. I liked the Braves and the Falcons, and more recently I have become a Hawks fan. Then, we moved to Kentucky and everyone there liked the Reds. Now, I am a Twins fan, but I do remember the 1996 World Series very well. That was fun.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who were some of the pro athletes you followed as a kid?
Revere: Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Jim Thome, Andruw Jones and Ken Griffey Jr.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What is it like to share a field and play against some of those guys?
Revere: It is fun. It is crazy. When I was 12 years old, I got a bat from Chipper and now he is like, "Wow, I am really old now." But I love it and it is fun, and it is a great honor. I used to be in the stands, and now I am playing against them. It brings back good memories, too. This never went through my mind as being possible.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What was it like to share a clubhouse with Thome?
Revere: It was great to be with him. It was great to see him hit No. 600 and then No. 601, too. It was great to watch and to be a part of it.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Who do you pattern your game after?
Revere: When I first got drafted, a lot of people said I reminded them of Juan Pierre, so I really started to watch him a lot. I learned from his game, and then playing against him I would pick his brain a little bit as to how he approaches the game.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Is hitting leadoff a natural position for you?
Revere: I think so. I have hit leadoff my whole life. Now, it is about learning how to be more patient at the plate. As a rookie, though, I am learning that you don't get the benefit of the doubt. So, hopefully, I can keep playing hard and ultimately get that veteran card. Right now, I am trying my best.
MLBPLAYERS.com: One memorable play this year featuring you took place a few months ago where you tripped running the bases and ended up doing a somersault. What happened?
Revere: It was right after the All-Star break. It was against the Royals, and I hit the ball to the right-field corner where Jeff Francouer was chasing it. I knew from his days with the Braves that he has a missile for an arm, so I was kind of panicking. I was going to round second but was afraid I was going to get hosed at third. I tried to speed up real quick and look at the ball and then look at the base, and I kind of had to stutter-step to touch it. However, I started to fall down, and I was then doing a barrel roll as my momentum kept going. Luckily, I was safe at third. But I really had to ask myself if that really happened.
Jeff Moeller is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.