“Yaarrr!”, Says Nick Evans
According to Andy Martino, former-Met Nick Evans has signed a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Evans raised a lot of eyebrows in 2010 after posting his first twenty-plus homerun season ever. The right-handed hitter boasted a .300/.371/.536 line with 23 homeruns, 80 RBI, and 88 runs in 548 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A (mostly at the former). However, with Ike Davis, David Wright, Jason Bay, and Lucas Duda all set to occupy the corner positions, there didn’t seem to be a future for the to-be 26 year-old on the Mets.
In 2011, Evans started the season at Triple-A (after clearing waivers in late-March), but it didn’t take long for the Mets to call on the hitter. On May 18, Evans saw his first 2011 plate appearance in the show–a walk. He swatted a dismal .000/.294/.000 line in 17 plate appearances from May 18 to June 8 before being designated for assignment. After clearing waivers for the second time in 2011, Evans retreated back to Triple-A.
The hitter spent a month in Triple-A before get recalled in early-July, and finally collected his first 2011 hit on July 8–bumping his .000 BA to .059. The golden-maned Evans would earn 18 total plate appearances in July before, yet again, being designated for assignment on July 22. Like the past two times, he cleared waivers and reported to the minors. In total, Evans owned a .313/.375/.462 line with 8 homeruns, 32 RBI, and 31 runs in 277 plate appearances for Buffalo.
With the mid-season trade of Carlos Beltran, the Mets now had an open slot in right field. Starting on August, the Mets tapped Evans, and threw him in the outfield. From there on out, Nick Evans more or less started for the New York Mets. And he didn’t disappoint–at least initially. August was Evans’ finest month, slugging an impressive .366/.413/.585 line in 46 plate appearances. However, the right-handed hitter slumped mightily in September, posting a dismal .241/.265/.352 line in 113 plate appearances.
On the whole, the corner infielder and outfielder collected 194 plate appearances for the Mets in 2011, and swung to the tune of a .256/.314/.403 line with 4 homeruns, 25 RBI, and 26 runs. Despite his impressive Minor League career (.278/.344/.478 line), Evans couldn’t quite replicate it in the bigs–even when given consistent at-bats. More importantly, he didn’t even “mash” left-handed pitching as advertised in 2011 (.236/.323/.436).
The Mets decision to designate him for assignment (for the fourth time) wasn’t all too surprising–and it was even less surprising that he opted for free agency. Evans might have a chance to stick with the Pirates Major League club with a good Spring Training, but he has a lot to prove in the show.