Evan Carter: Rangers 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year
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Outfielder Evan Carter has been a professional baseball player since 2020, when there was no minor league season.
He broke spring training in 2021 with Low-A Down East, but a stress fracture in his lower back ended his season after just 32 games.
The 2022 season was effectively Carter's first full year as a pro. The 20-year-old spent the bulk of the season at High-A Hickory before a late promotion to Double-A Frisco.
Carter didn’t just survive, he flourished, proving again that the Rangers were wise to spend their second-round pick on the Elizabethton (Tenn.) High product.
“For me, I feel like I’ve controlled what I can control,” Carter said. “Regardless of the outcomes, I’ve been happy with my effort and preparation that I feel like I’ve done to be ready for the season. That’s all I can judge—things I can control—and I’m really happy with those.
"It’s been a good year as far as that goes.”
The Rangers see Carter as a potential five-tool player. He is already growing into his power, which is boosted by his outstanding strike-zone discipline.
In 106 games this season he hit .295/.397/.489 with 12 home runs, 28 stolen bases, 64 walks and 81 strikeouts.
His success comes two years after many questioned the Rangers for drafting him when they did. He was not considered one of the country's elite draft prospects, though the Rangers believe he would have been on draft boards had his high school season not been canceled by the pandemic.
“It makes you feel happy that the people who did trust their decision or stick their necks out for you and make that decision, you feel proud that you proved them right,” Carter said.
“I’m not out here trying to prove anybody wrong, (but) it definitely is rewarding that the people who did trust in that, I didn’t make them look stupid.”
— Outfielder Aaron Zavala, the 2021 second-round pick out of Oregon, beat Evan Carter to Double-A Frisco by six weeks and flourished at the new level. In 30 games in the Texas League he he hit .277/.410/.482 with five home runs, four stolen bases, 21 walks and 29 strikeouts.
— Righthander Ryan Garcia, Texas' 2019 second-round pick, finished his most extensive professional season with a 1.91 ERA in 56.2 innings between Low-A Down East and High-A Hickory. The 24-year-old had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and dealt with a series of lat injuries that forced him to miss all of 2021.