GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds welcomed a new face to camp Tuesday in hopes that outfielder Ben Revere can parlay a Minor League contract into a valuable combination of a veteran presence in the Cincinnati clubhouse with high-impact speed off the bench.Revere, 29, is an eight-year veteran with the Twins,
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds welcomed a new face to camp Tuesday in hopes that outfielder Ben Revere can parlay a Minor League contract into a valuable combination of a veteran presence in the Cincinnati clubhouse with high-impact speed off the bench.
Revere, 29, is an eight-year veteran with the Twins, Phillies, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Angels. He played 109 games with the latter in 2017, slashing .275/.308/.344. Revere's 21 stolen bases last season marked his lowest career total since his 13-game callup in 2010, but it was his seventh season stealing 20 or more bags. With Billy Hamilton, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker penciled into a four-man outfield rotation, Revere will be competing for a reserve role as a fifth outfielder.
"Historically, he's swung the bat well," said manager Bryan Price. "He can change a game with his speed. We've got four pretty solid outfielders, as far as their footing on the roster. So Ben will compete to offer a component that we may lack -- speed off the bench, and a guy that can give you an experienced, veteran pinch-hit at-bat. When he gets some starts, he's a guy we can plug in and continue to perform at a high level."
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Revere had also been in talks with the Braves and Giants, but he felt his best shot of making the club lay with the Reds.
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"You got some good young guns in this clubhouse for the making of a good ball club," Revere said as he put on a Reds uniform for the first time. "I'm coming here to make the ball club, to have some veteran presence here for the young guys. Have them ready to go and hopefully make some noise this year.
"[People] haven't really been talking about the Reds all this year, but with the players they have and great pitching, and of course the hitting -- what they've done the last year, it's definitely impressive. So, we'll try to make a run for the [National League] Central."
As things stand, Revere's primary competition for a fifth outfielder spot would be Phillip Ervin, 25, who played in 28 games and made 11 starts in his four stints with the Reds last season, his first Major League experience.
"There's something to be said about having some experience with your bench players," Price said. "You end up with a lot of younger players trying to learn how to come off the bench and play. That's been a real challenge for us organizationally the last few years."
Revere has six seasons of playing at least 100 games under his belt, and he had over 600 plate appearances in both 2014 and 2015, when he hit .306 each season and stole a combined 80 bases. His 2017 steal total would have trailed only Hamilton (59) and Jose Peraza (23) on the Reds.
"I'm trying to keep my speed up like Billy," Revere said of his recent training. "He can dust me. Legs are a big tool."
Revere has been working out at home in Lexington, Ky., and he's eager to face live pitching in camp and get into game action quickly, ending an anxious spring he shared with an unusually large number of unsigned free agents.
"I know a bunch of guys were getting nervous," Revere said. "It's crazy how many more are still out there to this day. Great players. You can build an All-Star team with the guys that are out there. Eventually those guys will get on a team. Injuries happen, situations happen where you need somebody, but I'm definitely glad to be here and definitely ready to get going."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Reds on Tuesday.