Mets swing Little deal for Bevis

By Jim Callis

August 20, 2002

It’s not often that a team can designate a journeyman outfielder for assignment, then trade him for a player featured in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook. But the Mets did exactly that, receiving Double-A righthander P.J. Bevis from the Diamondbacks on Tuesday to complete the Aug. 16 deal that sent Mark Little to Arizona.

Bevis, 22, signed with the Diamondbacks out of Australia in 1998 and ranked 24th on our Arizona Top 30 Prospects list entering the season. He spent three seasons in Rookie ball before emerging in 2001, having bulked up his body and changing his arm slot to a low three-quarters delivery. Bevis suddenly started dealing 92-94 mph fastballs and also has a curveball he throws at two speeds. A member of the Australian team at the 2001 World Cup, he earned a save against Canada. He has had a fine season at Double-A El Paso, a notorious hitter’s park, going 4-5, 2.83 in 49 games, including 11 saves and 62 strikeouts in 64 innings.

After the Mets acquired the 30-year-old Little from the Rockies as part of the John Thomson trade on July 31, they designated him for assignment four days later. Outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 9, he was assigned to Triple-A Tucson after the Diamondbacks picked him up. Little has spent most of 2002 in the majors, hitting .194-0-5 in 64 games and 108 at-bats. In 122 big league games over three seasons, he has hit .249-3-18. He has no standout tool, which is why he never has claimed a major league starting job.