Scouting Yankee Prospect #46: Evan Tierce

The New York Yankees selected Texas State center fielder, Evan Tierce in the 17th round of the 2004 draft and he would go on to play most of his season with the Gulf Coast Yankees. Tierce has dazzled the Yankees with his speed, defensive skills in the outfield and his sweet, left handed swing. It's these reasons that he's our #46 Yankees' prospect. Here's a scouting report on Evan Tierce. (Free Preview)

Vital Statistics
Name: Evan Tierce
Position: Center Field
DOB: July 19, 1982
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 190
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: The New York Yankees selected Evan Tierce in the 17th round (519th Overall) of the 2004 MLB Amateur draft.

Many times in the MLB Amateur draft, you just never know what you're going to get as far as a real fine ballplayer in some of the later rounds. However, the Yankees certainly knew what they were doing when they landed Evan Tierce in the 17th round of the MLB draft in 2004. Out of any scenario out there, Tierce may very well end up being one of the best bargains of the 2004 draft. Maybe this is jumping to conclusions but how did a guy with the tools of Tierce fall so far in the draft, anyway? The Yankees certainly aren't upset by it, but they never expected a chance at him in the first place. However, this consideration goes far beyond his statistics in the Gulf Coast League this year which were tremendous, but also that Evan Tierce is touted as a multi-talented, legitimate center field prospect.

Considering the staggering college resume that Evan has under his belt, it is quite interesting that he was not a higher round selection in the 2004 draft. "It was a surprise in a sense that they didn't pay much attention to him during the season, but that's not to say they weren't doing their job," said Texas State Head Coach, Ty Harrington. "It's a good situation for him. We were very pleased to see that Evan will get a chance to play professional baseball and if something happens where he doesn't make it, then he's got a degree to fall back on." The words of his head coach have a lot of bearing when you look at his tools. Here is a speedy center fielder who made only 1 error in 193 college games. No matter what level of play, that is an amazing statistic. Evan Tierce has become a baseball legend at Texas State University, placing himself on numerous all-time lists. He is the school's all-time leader in hits, doubles, triples, total bases, runs scored, and games played. Also, he is tied for first in triples, tied for second in stolen bases, is third in RBIs and seventh in batting average on the all-time list. His legendary status does not end there. Evan was also an academic star at the University. He made the Dean's List five times during his four years at Texas State, is a two-time Oak Farms Dairy Academic Award Winner (GPA above 3.0 in one semester in a school year) and won the "Cream of the Crop" award once (4.0 GPA in at least one semester in the school year). Not to mention, in his final season as a Texas State Bobcat, 2004, Tierce became the team's lone All-SLC pick after finishing second in hits (85), third in total bases (126), tied for fifth in steals (20) and 11th in batting average (.343).

With a college career like that, what could the Yankees expect out of Evan Tierce? Well, they assigned him to the Staten Island Yankees as a start to his career. However, he got off to a slow start and there was already a glut of outfielders there that needed playing time. So, the organization elected to send Tierce to the Gulf Coast League where he immediately caught fire. He served as the club's leadoff man, and what a sparkplug he turned out to be. Tierce is a true throwback player. He's a fierce competitor who isn't afraid to get his uniform dirty, to say the least. He turned out to fit the Yankees "warrior" mold, adding some player character to the Yankee Farm System that the Yankees see as being very important. After an outstanding showing in the Gulf Coast League, the only thing keeping Tierce from being touted as a top prospect is the fact that he was a 22 year old player in a mostly teenager's league. However, if he can translate his tools into a higher league in 2005, we could be looking at a hand picked Yankee, bred through the farm system. Evan Tierce has a chance to be a gem and a good old fashioned, ballplayer.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2b

HR

RBI

R

SB BB SO OBP

SLG

2004 Staten Island .184 38 1 1 5 4 0 4 9 .256 .342

2004

GCL Yankees

.361

147

11

1

14

26

13 14 16 .420

.469



Batting and Power. It seems that Evan Tierce may have all the tools and his bat is no exception to that. Overall, Tierce looks like an excellent left handed hitter. He hits out of slightly open stance in an upright position. Tierce has an athletic, compact build as well with the sloped shoulders that scouts seem to love. Scouts have been very impressed with his approach to each of his at bats. Tierce always seems to have a plan when he goes to the plate, a guy a manager would be comfortable executing a bunt or hit and run with. The lefty swinging Tierce is at his best when he is using the whole field, something he has down to a science at this point. However, Evan Tierce is much more than a slap hitter. That is what makes him such a complete package as a ballplayer. He also brings good power in his game as well. Much of this power is to the opposite field but he can still spin on an inside fastball also. But, he is not a prototypical power hitter with his short, line drive stroke. Tierce really knows how to use his hands and he is extra quick through the strike zone. Evan Tierce projects be a player who can hit well over .300 with his line drive stroke and ability to make a lot of contact. With the Gulf Coast Yankees, Tierce struck out only 16 times in 147 at bats. It also seems that he could hit close to 20 home runs annually. For a 17th rounder, The Yankees may have picked up some kind of of hitter.

Base running and Speed. Speed is one of the biggest part's on Evan Tierce's arsenal of tools that he brings to the table. This season in the Gulf Coast League, the 22 year old swiped 13 bases in 17 attempts, which is an indicator for things to come. Tierce projects to be a huge stolen base threat and already has mastered the difficult skill. He could steal over 25 bases annually in a 162 game regular season and possibly far more. Also, Tierce utilizes his speed exceptionally well when roaming center field.

Defense. To put it into perspective, Tierce only made one, lone error in his four year college career at Texas State University. And, playing center field is not exactly an easy position to master but Tierce did it with great ease. Tierce's offense can be scrutinized until he plays in a higher league but his defense will never fail him at any level. His instincts are second to none in center field and he is a legitimate center fielder down the road. He gets great reads on fly balls and can track down the deepest of shots with the best of them. The left hand throwing Tierce also possesses a solid outfield arm and makes consistent, on line throws. His defense should remain very strong throughout his minor league climb and beyond.

Projection. It could turn out that this 17th round pick ends up being an above average Major League player someday. With his grit, work ethic and hardnosed style of play, there aren't too many limitations to what he could do as a Major League player. The Yankees love his makeup as a player, and it seems that he could fit the Yankee mold perfectly. Tierce looks like the prototypical number two hitter in a lineup. He is a guy who can make contact, take the ball to all fields and also hit for some power. Not to mention, he is a serious stolen base threat on the base paths. Tierce is perhaps the best sleeper prospect in the Yankee System and one to watch very closely.

ETA. N/A. This is certainly not a bold prediction but there are some scenarios that are quite possible. Tierce is an interesting case. He is a player with some excellent skills but he is already 22 years old. The 2005 season will probably see Evan Tierce playing center field in High A for the Tampa Yankees. It is a big leap but there is a need for outfielders in Tampa and the Yankees need to move him quickly. With a good stint there, which seems possible, he could be promoted to Trenton late in the season. Then, he could be in AAA Columbus at some point 2006. After that, there is a chance of him being called up in September by the big club. However, it could also happen that gets called up in 2007 as well. The Yankees will probably try to get him up to the show before the age of 26 years old.

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