Hard to believe Harry, but the Phillies best center fielder in the organization is playing right now in A+ ball with the Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League. He is 26 year old Pete Lavin who hit his fourth home run of the season last night against the Blue Jays too but only in Dunedin Fl. not the Rogers Centre. Pete has five assists in centerfield while committing no errors in 21 games this season.
The Phillies current 26 year old center fielder Ben Revere has never hit a major league home run in his career, has no assists this year because of a noodle arm, misjudges fly balls on a regular basis because he can’t run a direct route to the ball and has been charged with two errors in 26 games. Not surprisingly Lavin also has a better fielding range factor (3.10) in center than does Revere ( 2.68).
Last year when we did not want to go to watch the Clearwater Threshers play after Kelly Dugan and Maikel Franco were called up to Reading and Cameron Perkins was on the DL, we went anyway just to see Carlos Alonso play second base. He won the gold glove award for the best defensive second baseman in minor league baseball. Carlos was always worth the price of admission to watch Threshers baseball last season. Of course now the Phillies are playing him at third base in Reading.
This season Pete Lavin is fulfilling the Alonso role. It’s hard to go every night to watch a 7-23 team play baseball but as long as Lavin is in the line up all baseball fans need to go if for no other reason than to see him play the game. In a way it is unfortunate he is still in the Florida State League now in his third season. But he is having a season to remember.
Lavin’s play is more memorable now than ever before especially after last night watching on MLB.TV the Phillies current center fielder Ben Revere try to play center field. Both of them are left-handed bats but Lavin has more pop and is clearly superior in all aspects of playing the position defensively. We were lucky enough to see Pete throw out runners earlier in the season at second, third and home in a series of games. He has run down long fly balls and played center the way it should be played. He is just about everything Ben Revere is not except base stealing. Yet he remains stuck in the Florida State League and not given a chance at a higher level of baseball.
Pete is having a nice season at the plate. He now has four homers which is the fifth most in the FSL. He is hitting .283 with 14 RBIs and 19 runs scored for a team with one of the worst records in minor league baseball. He is hitting .320 with runners in scoring position.
The Phillies Front Office needs to do a better job of evaluating and projecting talent. They can start right now by moving Pete Lavin up to a higher level of baseball. He has earned my title as the “Best Center fielder In The Phillies Organization” hands down. It’s not even close especially when he is compared to Ben Revere!