Player: Zane Evans
Drafted by: Kansas City Royals (No. 114 overall)
DOB: 11/29/1991 (Age: 21)
Height/Weight: 6'2"/221 lbs
School: Georgia Tech
Previously Drafted: Never Drafted
Zane Evans is one of the better two-way players in this class, though he won't get nearly the attention that, say, Trey Ball does because he lacks that athleticism and ceiling. But he does have good value in this class as a hit-first catcher who can move to the mound if all else fails.
Since Evans will, in all likelihood, be drafted and developed as a catcher, our report will focus on that. However, for those interested, he does have the stuff to pitch out of the bullpen if need be. He has a plus fastball that touches 96 and a knockout slider.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Solid hit tool; improved bat path and control through the zone this year to make contact, leading to more power; very good approach and plan at the plate; never gets overmatched; willing to hit the ball the other way; should be solid-average hitter in pro ball.
In a draft without a lot of true power bats, Evans has certainly improved his stock by mashing 14 home runs in 59 games; limited track record, with just one season hitting more than five homers; has frame to be good power hitter in pro ball; wear and tear of catching could limit home run upside.
Plate Discipline: 45/50
Always shown a good approach at the plate; advanced discipline this season has led to increased walk total and decreased strikeout total; very good at making adjustments from at-bat to at-bat; will still get fooled by good breaking ball, but no significant red flags.
Well-below-average runner; big frame and wear and tear on knees aren't likely to help him maintain what little speed he has; some baserunning acumen, but will always be station-to-station player.
Still learning intricacies of catching position; lack of athleticism hurts him behind the plate; doesn't have great footwork or throwing mechanics, leading to a lot of easy stolen bases; receiving ability shows promise.
Easy arm strength as a pitcher and shows it off as a catcher; poor footwork hurts accuracy on throws; slow release also makes it easier for opponents to steal a base off him; has to find a motion that will at least force would-be basestealers to respect.
MLB Player Comparison: A.J. Ellis
Projection: Offensive-oriented catcher who hits for average and gets on base with some power on first-division team.
MLB ETA: 2016
Chances of Signing: 80%
Considering how well Evans has performed this year and how high his stock has climbed as a result, it would be a surprise to see him back in the draft as a senior in 2014. The only reason to have some trepidation would be he saw what happened this year and thinks he might be able to make a little more money next year.
But that is a small concern, as the only way he can really improve his stock is defensively, and the jury is still out on him being able to do so. He will be in professional baseball before the July signing deadline.