MINNEAPOLIS Before he was presented with his award as the Minnesota Twins' Rookie of the Year last week at the team's annual Diamond Awards, Ben Revere first had to endure some good-natured ribbing about one of his, well, memorable moments from 2011.
During a mid-July game at Target Field against Kansas City, Revere lined a triple to right field. But as he rounded second base and headed for third, the speedy Revere tripped and did a complete somersault. He didn't miss a beat, however, recovering on his feet in stride and sliding head first into third base for one of his five triples on the season.
But there were plenty of less embarrassing highlights for Revere during his impressive rookie campaign, including a catch at the wall that robbed Baltimore's Vladimir Guerrero of extra bases arguably one of the catches of the year in all of baseball.
While roaming center field for the Twins, Revere put together his own highlight reel while making numerous impressive catches. He said he hasn't gone back and admired his catches since the 2011 season ended, however, perhaps a sign he's focused on moving ahead to the upcoming year.
"I don't like watching stuff of (myself)," Revere said.
The 23-year-old Revere was Minnesota's first-round pick (28th overall) in the 2007 amateur draft. Three years later, he made his big league debut when he played 13 games with the Twins in 2010. Revere began the 2011 season at Triple-A Rochester, but was called up in early May and again in early June. From there, he stayed in the majors for the rest of the season. Revere batted .267 in 117 games and set a new Twins rookie record with 34 stolen bases.
When center fielder Denard Span went down with a concussion in early June, Revere took over in center, a spot he held for nearly the rest of 2011.
"You never know what's going to happen in a year in baseball. Baseball's a goofy sport," Revere said. "Just like this year, we had so many injuries. I didn't think I'd have that many games in the big leagues, and I played over 100 this year. You've always got to prepare yourself."
As the 2012 season approaches, Revere is prepared to move around the outfield once again. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Span will be the team's every-day center fielder if he is indeed healthy. Minnesota acquired veteran outfielder Josh Willingham in the offseason, and he'll hold down the starting job in right field.
That means Revere and infielder-turned-outfielder Trevor Plouffe will likely platoon in left field.
"It doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm out there trying to help the Twins win a championship or try and get a 'W,' I'm fine wherever they put me," Revere said. "If they put me in right field, left field, wherever, I don't care. As long as I'm out there trying to help the team win, I'm going to do my part."
Revere calls the 27-year-old Span his "big brother." During the 2011 season, their lockers were close to each other in the Twins' clubhouse. But they didn't play as many games in the outfield together as they would have liked, as Span was limited to just 70 games due to a concussion.
But the duo should be reunited in the Twins' outfield once again this season.
"This year it should be fun with him out there because we cover a lot of ground out there," Revere said of playing with Span. "A lot of guys are going to be like, 'Don't hit it to left or center because it's probably going to get caught.' Even to right field, Willingham, he has speed too so you never know. I say we're going to have a pretty good outfield this year."
Joked Willingham: "They're going to play left-center and right-center, and I'm going to play the line."
Revere spent a bit of the offseason rehabbing his knee after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery nothing serious, he insists. In a season that saw many Twins players hit the disabled list with various injuries, Revere was one of the few to stay healthy. He said he picked the brain of veteran Jim Thome on how to take care of his body during a long major league season.
With his rookie season under his belt, Revere hopes to once again stay healthy again in 2012. He's also hoping to lock down a starting spot in Minnesota's outfield.
"My knee feels better than ever. I feel a lot more flexible and faster," Revere said. "I'm just getting ready, getting prepared for spring training and trying to fight for a spot."