Enigmatic Braves Major League Prospect Has Chance To Make Big Leagues

26-Year Old Evan Gattis Continues To Impress With His Power

Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis
- photo by Tim Evearitt
He’s 26 years old and has but 933 plate appearances in professional baseball, none above the Double-A level. But don’t for a second think that Evan Gattis isn’t considered a legitimate prospect by the Braves. They know they have a special case with the big Texan catcher-turned-left fielder, who keeps responding to new challenges by crushing baseballs.

The Gattis legend has spread to Venezuela this winter, where he’s picked up the nickname “El Oso Blanco” (White Bear) from his mostly Latin teammates on the Aguilas squad while hitting .324 with five homers, 16 RBIs and a 1.009 OPS in 18 games through Thursday. And can I just say, that’s a damn fine nickname.

Gattis was tied for fourth in the Venezuelan Winter League in homers, fifth in OPS, and had six doubles and a league-high 43 total bases.

After getting off a torrid start at Class-A Lynchburg in 2012 season but then missing nearly half of the season with a wrist injury soon after his promotion to AA Mississippi, the Gattis train is picking up steam once again.

For those unfamiliar with the unique Gattis story, how he was out of baseball for nearly four years while traveling the western U.S. and doing a variety of part-time jobs to support himself while he sought out his purpose in life.

He got an invite to big-league camp in after hitting 22 homers and posting a .986 OPS in 88 games at Class-A Rome in 2011.

This season he was a man among boys at high-A Lynchburg, batting .385 with nine homers, 29 RBIs and a ridiculous .821 slugging percentage and 1.289 OPS in 21 games before being promoted to Double-A, where he was to play mostly left field and occasionally catch.

Despite missing about two months with a wrist injury that was worse than originally thought, Gattis came back and had 26 extra-base hits (four triples, nine homers) with 37 RBIs and an .865 slugging percentage in 49 games for Mississippi. He finished the season with a .305 average, 18 homers, 67 RBIs and a .995 OPS in 74 games (314 at-bats), and only 43 strikeouts.

----- Source: MLB.com


Gattis rounds third base after homering at AT&T Field on August 4, 2012.
Gattis rounds third base after homering at AT&T Field on August 4, 2012.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

McCallie Claims Own Mat Title with Depth

  With no champions, yet good depth, host McCallie won the 34 th annual McCallie Wrestling Invitational Tournament Saturday with 223 points followed by runner-up Union Grove (196) and third place Cleveland (186.5) in the 27-team field. In winning a record eighth team title, McCallie had runners-up in James Westbrooks (126) and Brock Herring (132), plus three thirds and ... (click for more)

UTC Women Edge Morgan State

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team used a 17-0 run in the second half to pull away from Morgan State and grabbed a 55-40 win on Day One of the Chattanooga Christmas Classic. Sunday at Home at 2 p.m . The Mocs improve to 8-3 overall and will host North Carolina A&T Sunday afternoon (2 p.m.) while Morgan State drops to 2-9 on the year and will ... (click for more)

TVA Sues Cleveland's Allan Jones Over Dock, Retaining Wall, Boat Ramp, Boathouse On Hiwassee River

TVA has sued Cleveland, Tn., Check Into Cash millionaire W. Allan Jones Jr. over the construction of a dock, retaining wall, boat ramp and boathouse on the Hiwassee River. In the lawsuit in Federal Court, TVA said it told Mr. Jones before the construction was finished that he was on TVA property. The complaint says he has refused to move the construction from the river. ... (click for more)

Bobby Dodd Lawsuit Against City Moved To Federal Court

A lawsuit brought by former Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd against the city of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund over his pension has been moved to Federal Court. The lawsuit was earlier filed in Chancery Court by attorneys Jerry Tidwell and Adam Izell. The suit says former Chief Dodd opted for a plan that would have half of his pension go to ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Manger Scene Stays!

When the Freedom From Religion Foundation struck the tiny town of Jay, Fla., earlier this month, the town mayor had a life-sized Nativity scene that had been displayed every Christmas for the past 40 years taken down and sold as “city surplus.” But in Alabama, things are different. When the foundation tried the same thing in Rainbow City, Ala., more people than all those who live ... (click for more)