Washington Nationals Ben Revere: Undervalued in 2016

Ben Revere has carved himself a nice career in MLB as one of the few speedsters left in the game. The Washington Nationals made the move to bring him this offseason, and he looks poised to post another valuable season.

The Washington Nationals had a lot of problems last season, eventually proving to be one of the most underachieving teams in all of baseball. Amidst all their problems, one of the most overlooked pieces that was absent was the impact that, Denard Span, had atop the lineup. But, with Span missing most of 2015 and leaving in free agency this offseaon, the Nats knew that they needed to fill that void.

Enter: Ben Revere.

Revere has been a quality fantasy OF over the last handful of seasons, as he provides a .300 AVG and 35+ SB annually. He will never be a power threat, does not walk much, and is not going to drive in a huge amount of runs, but he maximizes his skillset of making contact and utilizing his speed.

Between the Phillies and Blue Jays last season he posted a, .306/2 HR/ 45 RBI/31 SB/.342 OPS, line. Revere was buried when he first came over to the Jays at the bottom of the lineup, but with the Nats he will serve once again as a leadoff man.

Outside of his solid contact rates and natural speed, things have sort of aligned for Revere to really post a solid fantasy season in 2016. One the clearest perks of joining the Nats is that he will have Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy hitting behind him. The counting stat potential alone will carry his value and that does not even factor in the speed element.

With Dusty Baker and Davey Lopes now on the coaching staff, Washington will be on the run more than ever. Baker has never been afraid of letting speed reign supreme and he has continually mentioned throughout the spring how much he values it. Lopes is the best base stealing coach in MLB and Revere should be able to benefit from his presence as well.

Revere lacks the five category production that fantasy owner’s target, but his skillset happens to be a lost art in today’s day  and age of baseball. He is one of the rare big leaguers left that makes contact over 90% of the time. I do not project a huge speed increase, but 40+ SB is definitely in play and feel free to find those few kind of producers this season.

Revere is not a sexy pick and will not wow the draft room, but fantasy owners need to remember that he is incredibly useful moving forward as the advantage he offers is nearly unmatched. His ADP right now is around 35th amongst OF. That would make him an OF3 in just about every league, but I do believe there is top 25 OF upside.

Half of the battle when assessing a player’s value is trying to identify if they are in a situation that can maximize their skills. Revere enters his fifth career season, but this is surely the best fantasy setting he will even enter. Stolen bases are going to be worth their weight in gold this season and fantasy owners will need to target them aggressively, Revere offers that yet still largely gets lost in the shuffle. Make it a point to snag him this season.