Q&A with Nick Evans

Gulf Coast League 3B Nick Evans sits down with NYfansonly.com to give us his thoughts on his short Mets' career thus far, what areas he needs to improve on, where he is looking to play in 2005, to give us his impressions on some of his GCL teammates, and a whole lot more.

NYF: Tell us a little bit about your playing days in high school.

Nick Evans: Man, it was definitely lots of fun. My team was able to make it to the final 8 a couple of times but that was about it. It's definitely a big jump from high school ball to the pros but now that I've had a little taste of the pros, I look back and realize it is amazing that I didn't do better when I was playing in high school.

NYF: What has been the biggest difference between high school and the pros?

Evans: Well the biggest difference is that you have to be ready to play everyday and keep your body in shape. I mean, we used to play twice a week and now you're playing six or seven times a week. In the pros, the pitching is good everyday and you're constantly trying to make adjustments, especially hitting with the wooden bats.

NYF: How does it feel using the wooden bats? Is is a big adjustment from the aluminum bats?

Evans: Oh, I like hitting with the wooden bats a lot. I prefer it actually. You don't get as many cheap hits and it just feels better when you hit the ball solid with the wooden bat. It hasn't been that hard an adjustment really. I still take pretty much the same swings at the plate.

NYF: What would you say is the weakest part of your game?

Evans: Mostly, it is with the off speed pitches away. I also have a hard time laying off the high, inside fastballs that are not strikes. I make the coaches frustrated because I chase those pitches, taking tomohawk swings, when I have two strikes. But I think that's something I am going to really improve on as I gain more experience and get more at-bats.

NYF: Okay, what would you say is the strongest part of your game?

Evans: Definitely my power. I have pretty good power and I'm only going to get stronger as I get older. I never lifted weights in high school and didn't start lifting until I got with the Mets. They had me hitting the gym pretty hard and I've put on about 15 lbs already. I was really happy about that.

NYF: On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the absolute best, how would you rate your defensive skills?

Evans: I'd say I am a 5 or 6. I have decent hands and I've been working on my flexibility and my footwork mostly. I have pretty good arm strength and I actually built it up even more last year. The Mets have had me learning first base and I feel pretty comfortable over there too. They are going to continue teaching me that position and it doesn't matter to me. Being versatile can only help you is the way I look at it. I am all for whatever is going help me advance through the system the fastest. That's why we're here in the first place, to work on our games to make it to the Majors.

NYF: Have the Mets given you any indication where you'll be playing next season? Where do you envision yourself playing next year?

Evans: The Mets haven't told me where I'll be playing. I don't really know. I prefer not to be in Kingsport. My goal for next season is to break off with Hagerstown to start the year and then go down to Brooklyn once the short season leagues start up.

NYF: What specifically are your goals for next season? Do you have any sort of specific numbers you'd like to post next season?

Evans: I don't really have any specific goals, numbers-wise. I am going to be looking on cutting down on my strikeout ratio and make more contact. I figured if I improve my walk rate, hit the ball hard, and make more contact, the power numbers are going to be there. So that's what I am looking to do. I want to be more selective at the plate.

NYF: I realize you're just 18 years old and you have a lot more development to go through. But give us an early prediction as to how many homeruns you can think you can hit at your peak?

Evans: Wow, that's a tough question. I mean, I just got started (laughing). But if I had to give you an answer, I think I could eventually hit 40 homeruns or so when I reach my potential. I think I have the upside to do something like that.

NYF: What I'd like to do is to get your thoughts on some of the players from the GCL team last year. Let's start with Carlos Gomez. What are your impressions of Gomez?

Evans: That kid is great. He is smiling all the time and you can tell he's having fun out there. What can you say about him? He a five-tool talent. He's really, really fast. He's got all the tools. Gomez is like Vladmir Guerrero. He swings at everything and hits everything. He's got great power and what I like most about him is that he really goes after it. He never lets up. He's going to be a really good player. What's even better about him is he is so good and yet he's a real nice guy. He's not cocky or anything despite being really talented.

NYF: What can you tell us about Mike Carp?

Evans: He's got a lot of power and is a really good hitter. Our numbers matched up last year and we battled back and forth trying to outdo each other. He reminds me of Darin Erstad. They look alike, especially the way they hit. He too has some good upside. He and I are pretty close really. I mean, we're both the same size, the same age, and we both have the ability to get bigger.

NYF: How about Sean Henry? What are your impressions of him?

Evans: That guy has a cannon for an arm. He's a really good shortstop with a great arm, but sometimes submarines throws over to first. He's just so young. Despite his small size, he has big power potential.

NYF: What's the first thing that jumps into your head when you hear the name Jesus Flores?

Evans: Great defensive catcher. He was the best defensive catcher at the Instructs this past year and is really, really solid defensively. He's also got big time power. He does it all.

NYF: Was there a pitcher on your GCL team last year that impressed you the most?

Evans: (laughing) Gaby Hernandez obviously. That was too easy. He was flat out dominating, but that was sort of expected since he was a third round pick. He has a really good fastball, curveball, and changeup.

NYF: You're right. That was too easy. Was there anybody else that impressed you?

Evans: Blake Eager has good stuff. He throws like 90-91 MPH, has a good curveball, and a changeup. What was impressive about him was that he just got outs. Whether is was ground ball outs, strikeouts, whatever. He just got batters out. He's real reliable.

NYF: You mentioned you were at the Instructs this past year. Was there any player, or players, there that just stood out from the rest and impressed you the most?

Evans: Lastings Milledge for sure. He's one of the fastest players I've ever seen. He hits the ball really well and the ball he hit were just crushed. I also like Shawn Bowman. He's really good defensively at third base for sure. He stood out in my mind too.

NYfansonly.com would like to thank Nick Evans for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check back with us as Nick will continue to check in with us from time to time in the future.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories