NY Sports Dog: Nervous Nick Evans: Is He the Key?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Nervous Nick Evans: Is He the Key?

With all of the recent "Expo caliber" player signings, the failure to bring in any hitters of note (Dunn, Manny, etc), the season looks like it might come down to whether or not Nick Evans can continue to mash lefty's.

OK, OK stop laughing and at least hear me out.

With the Mets lefthanded cadre of returning players and new additions, and the increasing amount of lefthanded starters and relievers in the NL, every righthanded bat is a commodity.

For the unaware (and there aren't many of you since we know how savvy Mets fans are), Nick Evans scorched lefty's for much of last year.

How good was he?

2008 Batting Splits
Overall AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Total109182810029712400.257.303.404.707
By Breakdown AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HBP SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
vs. Left7215238025611500.319.380.514.894
vs. Right3735200410900.135.150.189.339

That is a pretty good sample size, and the results are there.

It's also no coincidence that when the Mets played their best baseball of the season in July and August (18-8 and 18-11), that Nick was putting up back to back months of .300+ BA with a few timely hits thrown in for good measure.

He faltered in September, and we know how the club finished.

So as we enter 2009, the club has essentially the same starting lineup--Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy seem likely to split time in leftfield, and that leaves Nick Evans as a primary righthanded bat off the bench.

His minor league stats show a guy quite capable of hitting for average with a little power thrown in, and he is improving...the real question is what is his ceiling?

Though overmatched at times, he does have a quick bat and an agressive attitude at the plate--both good signs.

If he only looked a little less nervous.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love that nickname.

Mets Tailgate said...

I'll be shocked if Evans is on the 25 man roster on Opening Day. It would be foolish to leave him on the bench rather than letting him develop as an everyday player in the minors. The Mets bench projects like this, I think:

Fernando Tatis (assuming Murphy is LF starter)
Alex Cora
Ramon Castro
Marlon Anderson (ugh)
Jeremy Reed/Cory Sullivan/Rob Mackowiak

No room for Evans.

Dave Singer said...

Hey MT...I agree with you with one caveat...the team really does need righthanded bats and Evans showed enough late to stay in the running for a spot on the bench.

I'd also like to see him play every day at the Bing, but we're thin from his side of the plate, so I think he sticks (unless we sign another real RH outfielder)

Mets Tailgate said...

I'd love to see his bat on the bench too. How do you project the bench though?

I'm assuming 12 pitchers and 13 offensive players. So 5 on the bench.

Dave Singer said...

If I were making the calls I would have:

Tatis/Murph (platoon)
Alex Cora (Utility)
Ramon Castro
Nervous Nick Evans
Jeremy Reed (the new Endy as Howard Megdal says)

I just can't stomach another year of Marlon Anderson....that ship has sailed.

Dave Singer said...

FYI--I just added your site to my new "What my friends are saying" blog roll at the top.

Keep up the great writing you're doing!

Mets Tailgate said...

Yeah, if I had it my way Marlon would be cut loose. He's just awful at this point.

Thanks for the add David!

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