Bees' Evans knows he's all the way back
Going into 2006, Salt Lake's Terry Evans had to answer questions and his own self-doubts about a career that appeared on the fast track to nowhere.
The then-23-year-old outfielder in the St. Louis organization had hit a measly .221 for Single-A Palm Beach.
Evans responded with an outstanding effort that saw him hit .309 with 33 homers, 37 steals and 95 RBIs in 133 games for three teams.
He was also traded for Jeff Weaver, a pitcher who helped the Cardinals win the World Series.
Coming into this season, Evans, who achieved peace of mind after becoming a Christian following 2005, wondered if he had really turned the corner. No worries.
The slim 6-foot-3 athlete continued to display the tools that attracted the attention of the Los Angeles Angels, including 24 steals in 33 attempts.
"The fact that I had another pretty solid year was good for my confidence; it wasn't a fluke," Evans said Monday, two days before the Bees (74-69) begin the first round of the PCL playoffs at Franklin Covey Field against Sacramento.
Monday, Salt Lake lost 12-5 to Las Vegas (67-77) and continued to limp into the playoffs, dropping five of its last seven.
"It was reassuring for me and the organization," Evans continued. "If I had struggled, everyone would have wondered if [last year] was a fluke."
Evans only wishes he would have hit more home runs. However, after starting the season slowly, Evans cut down on his swing, which helped him raise his batting average (.314) and collect a career-high 40 doubles.
The Angels also saw fit to give Evans a few days of major league service, which Evans said was "fantastic," considering he was playing Single-A baseball a year ago. Evans homered in his second big-league at-bat.
"He really can do everything," Salt Lake manager Brian Harper said. "He has a knack for stealing bases, he's solid in the outfield, he's got a good arm and power.
"He also has the ability to make adjustments in a game. Not everybody can do that. He can have a couple of bad at-bats and then get a hit."
Maintaining consistency is his goal.
"I'll do what I always do," Evans said. "Try to get faster and stronger and keep getting better at everything."
Ogden 5, Casper 2: Designated hitter Matthew Wallach ripped a three-run homer in the third inning to lift the Raptors to the Pioneer League win at Casper, Wyo.
Ogden starter Wilfredo Diaz recorded 10 strikeouts, holding the Rockies to three hits and two runs in six innings.
Orem 6, Idaho Falls 4: Gordon Gronkowski went 3-for-4 and scored twice as the Owlz won at home.