Where does Evans fit in?

Posted on September 14, 2010 by

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Utility man Nick Evans has endeared himself to the Mets faithful of late. Last night, Evans delivered a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th inning to make the Mets a 1-0 winner over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just six games earlier, Evans hit the game-winning RBI in Washington to secure R.A. Dickey’s 10th win.

While Evans has played the role of hero lately, he just doesn’t get that much playing time. For the last three years, Evans has scuttled back and forth between the minors and Queens.

So, the question is what kind of role does Evans have with the Mets going forward? And why did Evans get more action with the big club in 2009 (65 AB’s) and 2008 (109 AB’s) than this year (11 AB’s thus far)?

The bottom line is Evans is basically a low end utility player; a decent player to have on your bench. Evans is really not a player whom you would pencil in your lineup every day.

I assume the Mets saw enough of Evans in the last two seasons and knew his ceiling, and wanted to see what they could get out of guys like Jesus Feliciano, Chris Carter and Mike Hessman.

For his career with the Mets, Evans has batted a paltry .242 in 184 at bats with three home runs and 17 RBI’s.

Evans was having himself a decent campaign in Buffalo this year, though. Sandwiched in between one call up to the Mets from July 9-16, Evans batted .314 with six home runs and 25 RBI’s in 37 games with the Bisons.

In his seven years in the minors, Evans has batted .274, hit 99 home runs and driven in 375 RBI’s. His OPS is just .820.

Those are hardly numbers to get excited about.

Evans’ 184 at bats with the Mets is a decent enough sampling size to know what you are going to get. He has at best doubles power in the majors and would have a hard time ever hitting close to .300. Think of Evans as a poor man’s Geoff Blum.

And what position is Evans best suited to play?

He can play both the outfield and first base positions. However, there is no conceivable way he can ever start at those positions in 2011. Right now, Jason Bay and Angel Pagan have the corner spots locked up for 2011, and Ike Davis has a stranglehold at first base.

Something else to take into consideration is the likely return of Daniel Murphy to next year’s roster. Murphy is also a player without a true position and is a better hitter than Evans is, making him the better utility man off the bench.

While you got to like Evan’s grit and spark, he is no better than a 20-25th man on good ball clubs.

At least Evans is winning games for the Mets this year and giving some Mets fans some thrills.

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Posted in: Perspectives