PHOENIX — Seven have done it before him, and now Nick Evans will the eighth Arizona-born player to play for the Diamondbacks.
The team promoted the 28-year-old veteran on Wednesday, selecting his contract from Triple-A Reno and optioned outfielder Alfredo Marte to Reno.
Evans, who was born in Glendale and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, was informed of the move the night before in a team meeting.
“I was pretty surprised to be honest with you. I mean obviously happy though. It was pretty special for me,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any kid that grew up in Arizona as a Diamondbacks fan that wasn’t their dream to play for this team, so to say it’s a dream come true would be kind of an understatement for me.”
Evans was 12 when the Diamondbacks arrived in the Valley and he attended the very first game on March 31, 1998.
“I was a big fan growing up,” he said.
Evans gives the Diamondbacks versatility — he can play first, third and the outfield -— and power. He hit 11 home runs with a Pacific Coast League-leading 44 RBI in 44 games with the Aces.
“I thought the team we had was just a lot of fun to be around. We had such a good team that, when everybody in the lineup is doing well, it makes it a lot easier to kind of just go with the flow of the team and kind of just fit right in. The team made it a lot easier,” he said, before adding about his .335 (57-for-170) average and 35 runs scored. “I started swinging the bat well and I just tried to keep it the same everyday and just tried to stay consistent with it.”
It’s been a long road back to the majors.
Originally drafted by the Mets in the fifth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Evans played in 159 big league games from 2008-11 before New York designated him for assignment.
Then, after signing a minor league contract with Pittsburgh, he hurt his left hand.
“I dove for a bunt in foul territory and landed on my hand and shattered all the bones in my hand and messed up my wrist,” Evans said.
“It was a long recovery, but it’s definitely been worth it. It was tough on me because when you miss a whole year and then I got released in spring training last year (with the Dodgers) you start to think -— you don’t know what’s going to happen so to get back here, it’s special for me.”
Arizona-born players for the Diamondbacks
|Player||Birthplace||High School||Years w/ D-backs|
|Charles Brewer||Paradise Valley||Chaparral||2013|
|D.J. Carrasco||Safford||Hayward (CA)||2010|
|Nick Evans||Glendale||St. Mary’s||2014|
|Shea Hillenbrand||Mesa||Mountain View||2003-04|
|Bob Howry||Phoenix||Deer Valley||2010|