A product of the Petal (Miss.) High program that sent his cousin Anthony Alford to the big leagues, Evans signed for $100,000 as a 25th-rounder in 2015. He had trouble finding the strike zone as a starter, so the Rangers decided to simplify things by moving him to the bullpen full-time in 2018 -- and the results have been spectacular. He led all Minor League relievers in strikeout rate (16.6 per nine innings) that season and was even better last year, ranking first among them in opponent average (.119) and third in ERA (0.90).
The 93-96 mph velocity on Evans' fastball may be less impressive than its high spin rates and the extension he creates in his delivery with his 6-foot-4 frame, and the combination results in a heater that explodes on hitters with uncanny vertical movement. He can't always harness his curveball, but when he does it's a hammer with 12-6 break. He showed little feel for a changeup when he was a starter and has scrapped it as a reliever.
The good news is that Evans is throwing more strikes coming out of the bullpen, but the bad news is that he still walked 5.1 batters per nine innings in 2018-19. He has trouble keeping his delivery in sync, so he may never have more than below-average control of his electric stuff. If he can throw more strikes, he might become a closer.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
A cousin of Anthony Alford, Evans came out of the same Petal (Miss.) High program and signed for $100,000 as a 25th-rounder in 2015. He spent most of his first three pro seasons struggling as a starter who couldn't throw strikes, then was spectacular as a full-time reliever in 2018. He led all Minor League relievers in strikeout rate (16.6 per nine innings) while holding opponents to a .149/.257/.218 line.
Evans' fastball explodes on hitters thanks to a combination of mid-90s velocity, high spin rates and the extension he creates in his delivery with his massive 6-foot-5 frame. When it's on, his curveball can be an absolute 12-to-6 hammer that he can land for strikes or get batters to chase when he buries it in the dirt. He stopped worrying about throwing his ineffective changeup when he landed in the bullpen.
The big-bodied Evans can't always keep his delivery in sync, so he'll never have pinpoint control. He did make tremendous strides with his strike-throwing ability last year, posting a 27/1 K/BB ratio in the final month of the season. If he can build off of that, he'll advance quickly and could claim a high-leverage role in Texas.