Scouting Mets' Prospect #32: Nick Evans

The New York Mets drafted Nick Evans in the 5th round of the 2004 draft out of St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona. A power hitting third baseman out of high school, Evans has been compared to Pat Burrell of the Phillies. Evans ranks #32 in our Top 50 Mets' prospects.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Nick Evans
Position: Third Base
DOB: January 30, 1986
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Nick Evans is a power-hitting third baseman from St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Evans led his team to the State playoffs and hit 12 home runs as a senior in 2004. He earned the reputation as a clutch player and drove in all three runs in the St. Mary's Knights 3-1 victory over Sahuaro in the second round of the playoffs, including a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning. Evans had verbally committed to attend and play for the Texas Tech Red Raiders prior to the draft this past June, keeping his negotiating options open. But in the end, Evans signed with the Mets on June 11, 2004 and was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Mets to make his professional debut.

Evans, who signed for $217,500, had a very good debut in the Mets' organization this past season, leading the GCL Mets in home runs and runs scored, and finishing second in RBI. Blessed with tremendous power and a good uppercut swing, the one knock on Evans prior to the draft was his average defense. If he was "average" defensively, he didn't show it in 2004. Evans committed just three errors in 21 games at the hot corner and even earned "Most Improved Defensively" honors at the Mets' Instructional Leagues this past fall.

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2004

Gulf Coast

.258

182

47

7

27

36

3

14

51

.311

.462


* Stats as of 10/1/04

Batting and Power. The Pat Burrell comparisons are legitimate in almost every sense. Like Burrell, Evans has unbelievable power projection. The ball simply jumps off of his bat and he has plus bat speed. Evans is a very aggressive hitter that won't get cheated at the plate. He has an uppercut swing conducive to producing a good number of home runs. He's also a dead pull hitter in the same mold as Burrell. He's a decent hitter and still has a chance to hit for a good average as he matures. As aggressive as he is at the plate, he may never be a .300 hitter, but he'll still be a potent hitter. Evans has a projectable body and he could gain even more power as he fills out, which is a scary thought.

Base Running and Speed. Evans is not a sloth on the base paths. He's an athletically built kid with decent speed. He's quick for a big guy and possesses the ability to possibly steal double digit bases as a pro.

Defense. The Burrell comparison don't end with the batting and power projections. Pat Burrell was a third baseman coming up through the ranks and was switched to the outfield because of his less than stellar defense. There are some scouts that believe Evans has the same career path ahead of him and that he may need to be switched to left field or first base down the road. Given he's played just 21 games as a pro, we're not ready to project that just yet. Evans is a little better defensively than the pundits are giving him credit for. He has fair range at third base and does make the plays on the balls hit in front of him. His strength defensively is his arm accuracy.

Projection. It's simply too early to tell where Evans projects to play. The bottom line is with his offensive talent and raw power he'll find his way into the starting lineup. The question will be where? Like Burrell, Evans already projects to be a solid #5 hitter down the road and a big-time run producer if he realizes his potential. With youngsters David Wright and Shawn Bowman ahead of him, Evans may be forced to the outfield (or first base) purely due to the numbers crunch.

ETA. 2009. Evans will be just 19-years old in 2005 and he won't be rushed. That said, with his power potential, the Mets are going to have to find him at-bats. Evans could find his way on to the Hagerstown roster in 2005 and like Carp, could be on the five-year plan which would put his arrival at Shea by 2009 at 23 years old.

Third Basemen

2004 Team

Rodney Nye

AAA - Norfolk Tides

Chris Basak AA - Binghamton Mets
Aarom Baldiris A - St. Lucie Mets
Jay Caligiuri A - St. Lucie Mets
Shawn Bowman A - Capital City Bombers
Grant Psomas A - Brooklyn Cyclones
Travis Garcia R - Kingsport Mets
Nick Evans R - GCL Mets


Comments

Even with David Wright making it all the way to Shea Stadium, the Mets have some good third base prospects, especially at the lower levels. Shawn Bowman leads the pack and could eventually force the Mets to move David Wright to another position down the road. Travis Garcia and Nick Evans look like good power hitting third basemen that have chances to be special prospects down the road. Here's a rundown of the Mets' third base prospects:

1) Rodney Nye - After being the Mets' 7th round pick in the '99 draft, Nye just completed his sixth minor league season with the Mets. It's not clear whether or not he'll be back with the Mets in 2005. Nye's been a solid minor leaguer but does not fit in the Mets' plans.

2) Chris Basak - Originally drafted as a shortstop, Basak had the unenviable task of replacing David Wright at third base in Binghamton after Wright was promoted to Norfolk this past season. Basak is a solid player that can play 3B, SS, and 2B. He could prove to be a very useful utility player for the Mets.

3) Aarom Baldiris - Baldiris is an excellent contact hitter but does not provide the power needed from a power hitting position. With Wright locked in at third base and with Shawn Bowman on the horizon, Baldiris needs a new position. He could make a move to second base to get his bat into the lineup and give the Mets a decent second base prospect.

4) Jay Caligiuri - Originally drafted as a third baseman, Caligiuri has played some first base as well. If Baldiris does move to second base next season, chances are Caligiuri will be the everyday 3B for Binghamton. He's got good power potential and a good eye at the plate. He could become good trade bait at some point.

5) Shawn Bowman - A defensive wizard at third base, Bowman has the talent to be as productive as David Wright someday. He has excellent power projection and is only going to get better as he matures. He's the top 3B prospect in the Mets' system and one of the best third base prospects in all of baseball.

6) Grant Psomas - Like Bowman, Psomas was drafted as a shortstop and immediately moved to third base to begin his professional career. Psomas has intriguing power but will have to hit his way through the system to make some noise as a prospect.

7) Travis Garcia - Drafted in the 21st round of the 2003 draft out of Iona College, Garcia has decent power and a good eye at the plate. Like Psomas, Garcia's a little old for his level and is going to have to produce at the higher levels to be considered a legit prospect.

8) Nick Evans - Evans fell in the draft due to apparent signability issues and has big-time power projection. Some scouts say he resembles Pat Burrell of the Phillies, and like Burrell, may have a position switch in his future.

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