Disclaimer (because someone will ask why a player I didn't see isn't on this list): This is a ranking of the best Mets prospects I saw in person this year. This is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. I did not see Las Vegas, St. Lucie or the GCL team this year. If a player is not on the list, it is most likely because I did not see him. Otherwise, all rankings are consistent with how I would order the players within the Mets system. Oh yeah, and I am not a scout.
13. Phillip Evans
Age: (as of Opening Day 2014) 21.6
Acquired: 15th round, 2011
2013: 389 PA, .203/.268/.263, 60 K, 30 BB for Savannah (A)
Date(s) seen: 4/18/13 and 4/19/13 @ Lakewood Blue Claws (PHI)
The short of it: I'll probably be the last guy to give up on Evans, but a bad 2013 at the plate and in the field makes even me a bit wary.
The long of it: I liked that the Mets aggressively drafted Evans in 2011 and gave him second-round money to buy him away from San Diego State. Even if there wasn't a huge ceiling there, it was a marked and necessary change in drafting strategy. I got a brief glimpse of Evans at the end of '11, and saw a lot of him in 2012. He added about 20 pounds of good weight in between, showed some pull-side pop and a good approach at the plate, even if I was pretty certain he'd have to move off shortstop. He was a polished defender, and a captain of the Brooklyn infield, but he just couldn't make all the throws you need to be able to make as a major league shortstop. I wasn't surprised when he was still at shortstop this year in Savannah (the Mets under Alderson have been loathe to move anyone down the defensive spectrum before it is absolutely necessary), but after adding what looked like another 20 pounds of not-so-good weight, Evans struggled mightily at shortstop in my look at him this year. He had trouble going to his right, and ole'd a pretty routine backhand play. The arm is still fringy at short, and his size has eaten into his range as well. He looked lost at the plate, and while he still can yank an inside pitch, he tries to pull everything. Some of that is a function of his body type, but I think I've seen one opposite-field hit from him in three years, and that was a bloop off the end of the bat. He also struggled with a back injury later in 2013, which is not really something you want to hear about your 20-year-old middle infield prospect. I still believe in the bat, but 2014 will be a very important year for Evans as the Mets organization gets more-and-more crowded up the middle.
The projection: Utility infielder
Risk Factor: High. Future move down the defensive spectrum puts pressure on the bat, physical tools might be pretty much maxed out already, back injuries don't usually become chronic, right?
What’s next: An interesting question. Evans probably could repeat Savannah, as he's still reasonable young and the performance was lacking in 2013, but someone is going to have to play shortstop in St. Lucie, and if Matt Reynolds is tabbed for Binghamton, Evans may get one more shot to show he can stick at shortstop.
What I'll be looking for in 2014: I'd like to see Evans back at his 2012 weight, healthy, and and putting a sting into the baseball again.