Nick Evans burst on the scene a few years ago in memorable fashion, lining three doubles against the Colorado Rockies. It seems he is now a forgotten player. Is he a valuable asset to this team? The answer is yes, if the Mets use Spring Training to hone certain skills.
Currently the Mets starters seem pretty set outside of second base. I am going out on a limb and assuming that Castillo will be gone, and Emaus/Murphy will platoon at second base. That leaves four bench spots (if the Mets carry 12 pitchers). One goes to the backup catcher. One should go to Hu, who can backup both middle infield positions. That leaves two spots to Harris, Hairston, and Evans. Out of the three, Harris is the most dependable defensive player and the only lefty. He would backup all three outfield positions. Hairston is more versatile than Evans, but Evans has a better bat.
Ideally the Mets would be giving Evans many reps in the corner outfield spots this spring. He would be able to backup all four corner spots and be a big power threat off the bench. Unfortunately he is out of minor league options, and therefore must pass through waivers in order to be sent to the minor leagues. I am guessing he would be claimed by another team. This is why it is important to familiarize Evans with a Mark DeRosa-type role right now, in Spring Training.
If Evans can become comfortable with the corner outfield spots, he could be a very valuable asset to the team. He could give Beltran a day of rest without having to downgrade nearly as much offensively to Harris. David Wright almost never needs a day off, but when he does, Evans could spell him. Against a tough lefty, Ike Davis could take a breather and the Mets could go to battle with a righty heavy lineup.
The power potential off the bench is too great to ignore. Late in a game, the opposing manager knows that a dangerous bat lurks in the other dugout. Having someone like Evans, who tore up AA and AAA last year, would be a great asset to the team’s bench.