Is Nick Evans the next Heath Bell?

Last Friday the Mets outrighted Jason Pridie and Nick Evans to Triple-A. They could have accepted the assignment or elected free agency. They both chose free agency.

A day later Pridie signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s. Pridie was just an OK player for the Mets, but he’s easily replaceable and won’t be missed too much.

Now it’s time to see where Evans ends up. He’s been bounced around back and forth from the majors to triple-A so many times that it… dear I say it, it reminds me of Heath Bell. Since his debut in 2008, he’s been call-up and sent down about 10 times, and was designated for assignment twice last year within almost a month of each other.

Evans has been in the Mets minor league systems since he was 18. Every year since 2004 to 2009 he’s been called up to a high level, and the last two seasons he’s ripped up double-A and triple-A. In 2010 he combined for 23 home runs, 83 RBI, and hit .300 with a .371 OBP in 487 at-bats between Binghamton and Buffalo. In 2011 his entire minor stint was spent in Buffalo, where he hit 8 home runs, 32 RBI, and hit .313 with a .375 OBP in 249 at-bats. He spent the rest of the 2011 season with the Mets, where he hit four home runs, drove him 25 RBI, and hit .256 with a .314 OBP. Hopefully Evans isn’t the type of player who rocks minor league pitchers, but can’t swing it in the majors.

Do I think he can start for the Mets next season? Not at all. But he can play first and the corner outfield positions, which can be very valuable. He’d be able to fill in for Luca Duda or Ike Davis against a tough lefty, or give Jason Bay a day off if he needs it.

I feel like Evans has always been undervalued by the Mets. If he goes somewhere else he might flourish and the Mets will regret giving up on him and sending him to the minors every other week.

Now I might just be paranoid because the same thing happened to Bell and now he’s one of the best closers in baseball, but I’ve always had a good feeling about Evans, I don’t know what it is. I don’t see him as a starter, but he’s a good guy to have pinch hitting or fill in for a couple of weeks if someone lands on the DL.

I really hope the Mets bring him back and don’t let him get away. Otherwise, in a couple of years, they might have wished they had.

9 comments for “Is Nick Evans the next Heath Bell?

  1. Bus
    November 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I liked Nick Evans, but they need the roster back. I hope he can come back into the system, because he had a torrid streak at the end of the year that was fun as hell to watch.

  2. Steve S.
    November 17, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I had both Evans and Pridie on the 2012 Mets—reserve OFers who bat right handed and lefthanded. But they should be easily replaced. I still have that uneasy feeling about Evans, too…..

  3. November 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Pridie could be replaced by Endy, part III. I like Evans a lot as a player, but he’s redundant on a team that already has Ike/Murphy/Duda.

  4. Brian Joura
    November 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    But all those guys you mentioned are LH batters. I thought there was a place for the righty-hitting Evans.

    • November 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      IMO, platoon splits are overrated. In general, if you can hit, you can hit anybody, though there WERE a few abberations — Moises Alou as a Met comes to mind — who have a severe platoon split, but those guys are rare. And yes, I do think Duda can hit anybody and we already know that Ike & Murph can.

  5. Dan Stack
    November 18, 2011 at 5:09 am

    I’d like Evans back as a reserve, but if he can go elsewhere and perhaps start, than more power to him.

  6. Brandon Lee
    November 18, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Well if I were the Mets I’d try really hard to get him back. A good bench player who is right-handed and can play first and outfield is something they are in need of right now. Unless they think they can find someone better out there, but they’d have to spend more money.

  7. Alx86
    November 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Nick Evan shoudl be given all the rights to start in the majors. I have seen him in the minors and the guy can play just as good as Daniel Murphy.. they both came up at the same time and ripped the hell out of the ball. All this bouncing back and forth is messing with his head and the mets need to make clear decicions on there players. More is lost because of indicision than the wrong decision!!!

  8. November 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    The difference between Bell and Evans is that Bell had something while he was here. Why the organization bailed on him was something that confounded me at the time, as well as during lengthy success in San Diego. Evans, on the other hand, is only now looking like he can handle any semblance of major league pitching. In addition, he’s no Gold Glover or major base stealing threat.

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