On January 9, 2023, the Arizona Diamondbacks signed veteran free agent Phillip Evans to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
In 24 spring training games with the Diamondbacks, Evans struggled. He batted under .230, got on base only 28% of the time, and only saw 2.02 pitches per plate appearance. It looked like he was on the fast track to getting released by Arizona.
But oh boy, good thing Arizona had patience with this man, and sent him to AAA to begin the 2023 season. The fruit he has produced has been ripe ever since.
This former big leaguer is raking in the Diamondbacks farm system
The Reno Aces have put together a solid season so far in 2023. A huge part of their 24-16 record is their ability to mash the ball. One guy that is familiar with mashing baseballs is veteran third basemen, Phillip Evans.
Evans has been around the block no question about it. The 30-year-old Californian was drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 draft by the NY Mets. He has played 978 games in the minors and 121 games in the majors.
In 121 MLB games, Evans has recorded 71 hits, 6 HRs, and 27 RBIs. Also adding a respectable .331 OBP over that time. The last time Evans played in the big leagues was in 2021 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In 2023, Evans has been the most consistent hitter for Reno. Through 36 games (127 at-bats), Evans has slashed .425/.549/.591 (OPS of 1.140). He leads the team in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and is 2nd in RBIs.
In the pacific coast league, Evans has the highest batting average and the highest on-base percentage; only one player has a higher OPS than Evans. He is also 3rd in walk %, 2nd in strikeout %, and 10th in RBIs.
It is evident that this journeyman isn’t giving up on his dreams. If he keeps it up, he still has a good chance of being an everyday big-league third baseman.
If any unfortunate injuries happen in the Diamondbacks infield, don’t be surprised if Evans gets the call to the bigs. His veteran presence would be much appreciated for the young locker room, and hey, his skill at the plate ain’t half bad either.
Keep a close eye on Phillip Evans, you might see him in an Arizona uniform sooner than later…