11/23/09

The Keepers - #16 - OF/1B - Nick Evans

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16. Nick Evans – 1B/OF -


Evans came to pro-ball straight out of St. Mary’s High School, Phoeniz, Arizona.

The Mets chose Evans in the 5th round of the 2004 draft and received a $217,500 bonus on his signing day. He immediately reported to the GCL Mets and hit .258 in 50 games. Evans was 3rd in the Gulf Coast League in extra-base hits and runs and 5th in homers. Scout.com ranked him the 34th Mets prospect that year. In 2005, Evans played a ‘full’ season for the short-season Brooklyn team, hitting .252/.302/.407. He was named Player of the Week during the period of 6/20-6/26/05.

Baseball America ranks Evans as the 30th prospect in the system, OnDeck had him 28th, and InsidePitch put him #14. In addition, the pre-season John Sickles rating was C and Evans was ranked as the 18th Mets prospect. Baseball Thnk Factory said in Nov ’06 that Evans might the Mets’ ‘sleeper’ prospect. Their actual quote: “33 doubles and 15 HR at Hagerstown this year – some of that, particularly the double total, is helped by the ballpark, but it’s not all park-fueled. He was drafted as a 3B but was quickly moved to 1B; if he’d stayed at 3B he’d probably be on a lot more radars. I think he’ll add power; the question will be “how much” and “how soon”.

In 2006, Evans played a full season at H-Ball and posted .254/.320/.419. He led the South Atlantic League in games played, and was 5th in at bats.


John Sickles has him as the #14 2007 Mets prospect. In February 2007, Scout.com ranked Evans as the 9th top Mets prospect.

In 2007, Evans played the entire season for St. Lucie (.286/.374/.476 in 378 at bats, 15 HRs, 54 RBIs, 25 doubles, 64 strikeouts).

In September 2007, Evans was assigned to play in the Hawaiian Winter League (which is always a sign that the organization wants to invest more time and money in you). Also in September, Baseball America ranked Evans as the 9th top player in the Florida State Leauge for a ‘big season’.



In November 2007, ‘Project Prospect’ listed Evans as the 70th top prospect in baseball, Baseball America had him on the ‘best of the rest’ Mets prospect list, and Scouts.com had Evans as the 9th top Mets prospect. ‘P.P.’ said: It’s true. There simply isn’t an argument to be made that Carp out-hit Evans in 2007. Evans had a much more productive offensive season. But we’re not going to look past the fact that Carp was significantly better than Evans at the plate in 2006 and has played a level above the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder for each of the last two seasons – despite being five months younger. Our developing speed metric has them as similar runners, as well. Evans showed above-average strike-zone judgment in St. Lucie. His 2006 and 2007 power numbers are pretty similar, his contact rate just increased. A product of the 2004 Draft (134th overall pick), Evans could be big-league ready by 2009. We see him as a potential solid-average regular at the moment.

In December 2007, Jonathan Mayo/MLB.com said: A 2004 fifth-round pick, Evans put up some pretty solid numbers in the Florida State League, with 15 homers, 25 doubles and a .476 slugging percentage at age 21. That might not sound that terrific, but it put him seventh in slugging and tied for ninth in homers.

In late January 2007, Baseball America ranked Evans as the 20th Mets prospect.

In February 2008, ScoutingBook.com listed the 238 top prospects in 2008 baseball and they ranked Evans as 139th, stating: The Mets 5th round selection in the 2004 amateur draft, Evans always put up solid numbers, but really broke open in the summer of 2007. Firmly taking hold of his future as middle of the order power bat, Evans hit .286/.374/.476 in 378 ABs for St. Lucie. His blossoming as a power threat has scouts not only relisting him over the Mets other 1B prospect, Mike Carp... they're looking at a 30-homer, 100RBI future in the middle of the Mets lineup.




Also in February 2008, Rotoworld ranked Evans as the #10 Mets prospect, saying: Evans replaced Carp as St. Lucie's first baseman and posted the same kind of line that Carp did in 2006. Carp was a year and a half younger at the time, but at 21, Evans was hardly old for the FSL. Also impressive was that he went from a 99/45 K/BB ratio in 511 at-bats in the Sally League to a 64/54 mark in 378 at-bats. Unfortunately, most of the right-handed hitter's success came against lefties (.354/.440/.596). He hit just .262/.351/.434 against righties. He's probably not going to blossom into a 25- or 30-homer guy, so he'll need to do a much better job of hitting for average versus righties going forward. Since he and Carp do cover up each other's weaknesses pretty well, there's a slight chance they could form a cheap platoon for the Mets in 2010. It'd be a more likely scenario if they were Giants or Royals.

In June 2008, BA did a post-draft adjustment of their top 10 Mets prospects and Evans was ranked #10, with the comments: “10. Nick Evans, 1b - Another Double-A masher (.295, nine homers), he destroys lefthanded pitching.”

In June 2008, Baseball America wrote: Double-A Binghamton 1B/LF Nick Evans (Mets) proved he wasn't quite ready for prime time by hitting just .174/.208/.304 in a 23 at-bat big league trial this season. That's OK. He's still just 22 and is turning in a fine season in the Eastern League, where he ranks second in slugging (.566) and fourth in extra-base hits (32), despite spending a couple weeks in the Nationals League. He batted .407/.448/.741 (11-for-27) last week, with two homers, a double, a triple, seven RBIs, six runs, two walks and four strikeouts .

In late July 2008, ProjectProspect.com updated their top 10 Mets prospect list and Evans was ranked 5th.

Evans had a very productiove 2008 with Binghamton (.311/.365/.561) which got him a promotion after the all-star break to the Mets.

In 2009: John Sickles: - Nick Evans, 1B-OF, New York Mets - Nick Evans was pushed into major league action as an emergency measure last summer, and held his own despite just a half-season of Double-A experience. He could use additional time in the minors, to refine his swing and improve his plate discipline, but overall he acquitted himself pretty well in New York, and will certainly get more chances. Evans has above average raw power and is particularly dangerous against left-handed pitching, but he probably isn’t going to provide a great batting average and OBP, and his defense is only mediocre. He might not hit quite enough to play first base full-time in the majors, and could end up on the Triple-A/major league shuttle eventually. I think Evans can be a solid major league hitter, but I don’t see star potential, more of a good platoon bat. Grade C+.

March 2009: Rotoworld on Evans: Evans, who excelled as a platoon player in the majors last season, would have claimed the eighth spot in the rankings. … Mejia wasn't nearly as highly regarded as Flores or Marte coming out of Latin America in 2007, but he showed a mid-90s fastball as an 18-year-old. … It's a good thing the Mets did so well in Latin America in 2007, as they had what looks like a terrible draft. Kunz, their first pick, may be nothing more than a sixth- and seventh-inning guy. Moviel, a second-rounder who was their third selection, is still more notable for his size -- he's 6-foot-11 -- than his performance, and Rustich, another second-rounder, will be fortunate to make it as a reliever. The Mets' top 10 looks quite a bit stronger than it did a year ago, but they're about as weak as any team outside of their first dozen prospects.

Project Prospect updated their top 200 prospect list in March 2009: #95 Nick Evans 1B Improved .321 wOBA in '06 to .364 in '07, .390 in '08; MLB struggles: .295 wOBA (119 PA)

In 2009, Evans had an up and down year. He completely reaked at Buffalo (.211 in 237 at bats), faired well for Binghamton (.276 in 105 at bats), and meh for the Mets (.231 in 65 at bats).

Forecast:


I don’t see Evans ever earning a starting position for the Mets, but he still will be a very valuable (if not packaged) utility player for Queens in 2010. Remember, he can play all three outfield positions, has played first base more than any other position while in the minors, and broke into professional ball as a third baseman.

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