PHIL EVANS IS EMERGING by Tom Brennan
Phil Evans was drafted out of high school as a 15th rounder in 2011. Just 34 at bats in 2011, hitting .294.
First real season was 2012: .252/.328/.337 in Brooklyn in 73 games. Not terrible.
2013 in the Sally League WAS terrible - .203 without power in 106 games.
2014 in the Florida Coast League, Phil went back to so-so: .250/.317/.321 in 112 games.
2015, with the huge logjam of infielders in the Mets minors, he regresses, playing just 77 games, and hitting .234/.300/.313.
In other words, 4 years of utter mediocrity - sorry, Phil, it's true.
The logjam persists in early 2016, and Phil starts out again in St Lucie, and he goes 4 for 28. I'm thinking this guy is both stinking and sinking.
Scrappy Jeff McNeil goes out with a season-ending abdominal hernia in AA, and Phil gets promoted. I'm thinking, "this is gonna be ugly. No way this guy hits in AA."
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Phil has clocked 79 games in AA, and he has exploded - he is still a hair short of having enough at bats to qualify for the AA batting race, but hitting nearly ,450 in August, he has climbed to .329, 2nd in the Eastern League, with some power showing up to boot, evidenced by a robust .491 slug %, far above prior years. That's higher than Rosario's .324, folks.
Listed at a now-stocky 5'9", 220 pounds, Evans started out as a shortstop, and logged 283 games there in his career, making 64 errors. Not terrible, when age is factored in, making him a passable back up at short in the majors as one evidence of his future utility. Seven SS errors in 38 games this season is not bad compared to Gavin Cecchini. Only 4 errors in 43 games at 2nd and 3rd this year, too.
I have to totally revise my thinking about Phil.
Maybe he is a future Joe McEwing...or MAYBE he is a future Mets' 3B starter. If you said that to me in April, I'd have asked you what you were smoking. But Phil's been smoking with the bat, and playing solid D.
But, you say, 3B is a power spot, so what can he say to us to indicate he is not a complete dud in that department? How about 6 homers and 17 doubles in his past 37 games? Too short a stretch to conclude this is the new Power Evans, but clearly of interest. And I saw a clip of him hitting a long opposite field homer, so the power seems to be there.
Besides McNeil, 2 other guys (Herrera and Muno) departed, freeing up at bats for Evans. Anyone who does not now have Evans squarely on the radar is not paying attention.
Before I go, a more familiar guy is nova-hot. Michael Conforto has FIFTEEN HITS AND A WALK IN HIS LAST 5 GAMES. Get him back in NY ASAP.
After last night's Mets debacle, with the great Jake not able to hold a 4 run lead, Matz scratched tonight, and Wheeler nowhere in sight, it would take an absolute miracle for the Mets to make the playoffs. I would deal Grandy for whatever we could get, eat the rest of his contract, and recall Nimmo and Conforto and let them play. It is working out so far with TJ Rivera...who is 11 for 31, I believe...so start the youth movement again NOW.