- Full name Michael Terry Evans
- Born 01/19/1982 in Dublin, GA
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Middle Georgia State
- Debut 06/17/2007
- Drafted in the 47th round (1,409th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Evans' remarkable resurgence led him to the big leagues in June, and he homered in his first major league start. A career .239 hitter with 40 home runs in 398 games before 2006, Evans posted career highs in average (.309), homers (33) and stolen bases (37) between two levels and two organizations as a 24-year-old in 2006. He came over from the Cardinals for Jeff Weaver that summer, and fortified his reputation in 2007 during his first tour of Triple-A. Like Chris Pettit, Evans is a mature hitter with great makeup, but his tools and raw strength are better than Pettit's. He has good plate coverage and uses the entire field well. He shows plus power, and he understands that in order to drive the ball, he has to muscle it to the opposite field with his arms and upper body, because he doesn't have tremendous bat speed. Pitchers can bust Evans in with good fastballs, and he'll expand the strike zone and swing and miss on soft stuff as well. He's much better against lefthanders. An average defender with average speed, he takes good routes and hustles in the outfield. He has a solid-average, accurate arm. Evans is a good all-around player with juice in his bat. He doesn't profile as an everyday center fielder on a contending club, so his shot may have to come with another organization. There's no room for him in the Angels' crowded outfield, so he's ticketed for a return trip to Triple-A with a chance for a callup anytime.
Trading the ineffective Jeff Weaver to the Cardinals last July served two purposes for the Angels. It opened a spot in the rotation for Jeff's brother Jered, and it landed Evans, who continued a breakout season after switching organizations. Evans had batted just .239 with 40 homers in 398 games before 2006, when he hit .309 with 33 longballs and 37 steals. A devout Christian, he said his improved mental approach enabled him to turn the corner. One Texas League scout called him a poor man's Dale Murphy, as Evans does everything well. For the first time in his career he displayed above-average power that translated to games. His approach improved significantly and he did a better job of laying off chase pitches, though he remains a free swinger and is especially vulnerable to breaking balls. He likes to drive the ball to right field and also can pull pitches out of the park on occasion. His power comes more from his strength rather than pure bat speed. He could better incorporate his lower half into his swing. Capable of playing all three outfield positions, he's an adequate defensive center fielder with average speed. He has a slightly-above-average arm. The Angels weren't sure what they were getting when they picked up Evans, but they're encouraged by the early returns and will send him to Triple-A in 2007.
Minor League Top Prospects
You're excused if you had never heard of Evans before this year. No one else had, either. He spent 3½ seasons in obscurity in the Cardinals organization, and he returned to high Class A for the third time to open 2006. He hit 15 home runs in 60 games there to earn a promotion to Springfield, and then he was traded to the Angels in the July for Jeff Weaver, which kept him in the Texas League at Arkansas. He finished the season with a combined 33 home runs, 37 stolen bases and a .942 on-base plus slugging percentage. Evans always had been regarded as a hard worker with an intriguing combination of power and speed. This season he developed a more relaxed, consistent approach at the plate that kept him from getting himself out by chasing pitches and going into prolonged slumps. Evans played exclusively in right field while in Springfield, but he played mostly in center for Arkansas. While he has the speed to play center on occasion, his strong arm and power profile perfectly in right.
Coming into 2006, Terry Evans had hit .239/.303/.394 in 1,420 minor league at-bats. He looked more like a guy fighting to make a team out of spring training than a prospect. But Palm Beach manager Pop Warner had been waiting to see if Evans would ever figure things out. "With him, the ability was always there. The talent was always there. The tools were always there," Warner said. "We always said with him, if he ever got it, he'd be a force to be reckoned with. He obviously got it this year." Evans completed one of the most amazing turnarounds in the minors with a very loud season that saw him get promoted to Double-A and traded to the Angels for Jeff Weaver. He's now quite clearly a prospect, as he has tools to go with his impressive .309/.377/.565 season with 33 homers and 37 steals (including his Double-A totals). In past years, Evans was an easy mark for a slider off of the plate or a high fastball out of the zone. This year, he learned to lay off those pitches, recognize ones he could drive and work himself into hitter's counts. After being pull-happy in the past, he showed power to all fields and the ability to hit for average, but beyond that didn't really tinker with his swing. He still strikes out too much, but his added power production makes that easier to live with. Despite being 6-foot-4 and 211 pounds, Evans is an above-average runner. He profiles best as a right fielder with a plus arm, though he also played an acceptable center field for Palm Beach.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Power Prospect in the Florida State League in 2006