New hitting coach Tom Evans hopes to spark the Owlz explosive offense. Although Evans is new to coaching, he has plenty of experience in the minor league system.
Evans was drafted out of high school by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth round of the 1992 MLB Amateur Draft as a third baseman. He broke into the league playing for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays of the Pioneer North Division, where he batted .217 and had an OPS of 601 in his rookie season.
In 1993 Evans was able to work his way up from the Rookie League into Single-A baseball, playing for the Hagerstown Sun of the South Atlantic League where he batted .257 and had and on-base percentage of .347.After a successful 2-year run with the Suns, Evans again moved his way up, this time to the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League. While in Dunedin, Evans’ numbers improved batting .279 and an on base percentage of .359.
In 1996 Evans was promoted to Knoxville, the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate. In Knoxville he batted .282 and had an OPS of 937.
After a successful season for Knoxville, Evans was called up to Triple-A Syracuse at the beginning of the 1997 season – a place he wouldn’t stay for long.
Towards the end of the 1997 Evans got the call from the Blue Jays to play in the majors. Although his stay in Toronto was brief, he did get his chance. In the 12 games Evans played he batted .289 and had an on-base percentage of .421 and a home run.
“In 1997 I had to face Randy Johnson. This was when he was still throwing heat,” Evans said. “That was my ‘welcome to the big leagues’ moment”.
By the beginning of the 1998 season, however, Evans found himself again playing in Syracuse. After a strong season with the SkyChiefs, Evans made it back to Toronto for fall call-ups. After a less than stellar performance in Toronto, he was cut from the organization.
In 2000 Evans got another shot at the big leagues in Rangers, playing in 23 games for the Rangers. Evans’ numbers improved in the big leagues, hitting .278 with an OPS of 746. This was the last time Evans would wear a big league uniform.
Since his last shot in Texas, Evans has played within the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations. After one season playing winter ball in Venezuela, he decided to join the Owlz as a hitting coach.
Evans hopes to pass on the lessons of his own journey to Orem’s new crop of rookies.
“I’m excited to be able to work with young guys” said Evans admitted.