Coming off three seasons in 2013, 2014, and 2015 in which he hit .250 or below, shortstop Phil Evans has bounced back in a major way, winning the Eastern League batting championship. Evans’s ability to hit for average has always been his greatest offensive tool, but until this season, it had never manifested.
Evans began his season with the St. Lucie Mets, but he was promoted to the Binghamton Mets at the end of April when B-Mets infielder Jeff McNeil sustained an injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the season. Evans stumbled out of the gate, going 1-for-14 to close out the month of April, but he settled in during May, hitting .333 in 17 games. Evans hit .321 in 22 games in June, but it looked like the shortstop was running out of steam in July, as he hit .286 in 23 games.
That was not the case, as Evans caught fire in August. He began the month with a .299 batting average and ended with a .330 average, hitting .398 for the month. He logged thirteen multiple-hit games during the month, five of which were three-hit games and two of which were four-hit games.
Manager Pedro Lopez started Evans in virtually every game late in the season, giving him enough at-bats to allow him to qualify for the Eastern League batting title. On the final day of the season, the shortstop trailed Portland Sea Dogs outfielder Aneury Tavarez by five-hundredths of a point, .330 to .335. The Binghamton infielder proceeded to go 4-for-6 in his final game thanks to extra innings, boosting his batting average to .335, while Tavarez did not play and saw his average remain the same. Breaking down the tie, Evans ended the season with a .33518 batting average, while Tavarez finished in second with a .33506 mark.