On Friday, the Buffalo Bisons announced that relief pitcher Clint Everts had been released by the club. Drafted 5th overall in the 2002 Amateur Draft by the Montreal Expos, Everts was mentioned in Moneyball as one of the players that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane was interested in.
Everts was twice named to the Baseball America top prospects list (2003, 2004) and showed some great promise early in his career. He began in 2003 in the New York/Penn League in Short-Season-A ball and had decent numbers but really showed much better command when he was promoted to the South Atlantic (Sally) League. In 5 starts with Savannah, despite being 0-3, he had an ERA of 3.46 with a 1.269 WHIP and a much improved BB/9 rate of 3.5 and a K/9 rate of 7.3.
In 2004, he continued his success, starting the season again in Savannah but moving to Brevard County of the A-Advanced Florida State League. His numbers did take a hit after pitching in a more competitive league, but he was still on track, despite injuring his elbow and requiring Tommy John surgery following the season. In 2005, he only pitched 35 innings in much lower leagues (Gulf Coast League and NY/Penn League) indicating his rehab from the injury and surgery.
In 2006 and 2007, he pitched for the Potomac Nationals, the A-Advanced affiliate for the Washington Nationals in the Carolina League and struggled a great deal. He was moved to the bullpen in 2007 and put up WHIPs of at least 1.600 each season. In 2008, he started in Hagerstown, the Class-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League for Washington but quickly earned a promotion back to Potomac and improved his walk rate (down to 9.8%), his strikeout rate (up to 23.4%) and reduced his ERA, FIP, and WHIP (4.80, 4.04 and 1.500 respectively).
He must have impressed the Nationals brass because, while he found himself back in Potomac to start the 2009 season, he eventually rose that year to AAA by the middle of August. He continued to post high strikeout numbers (over 20% at each level), but his walks rose considerably when he hit Triple-A Syracuse, walking almost one batter per inning (8.44 BB/9).
After 2009, he became a minor league free agent and signed with the Mets in March of 2010 and was traded to the Blue Jays on June 26th, 2010 for outfielder Jorge Padilla. 2011 was probably his best year — at least the part he spent in Double-A New Hampshire. Everts had a 2.59 ERA, a 1.068 WHIP and a 2.73 FIP to go along with a 28.9% K rate and a 10.3% walk rate. As has become the story with Everts, he couldn’t handle AAA hitters and was sent back to AA to complete the year with Fisher Cats.
In 2012, he regressed in Double-A but found himself in Las Vegas pitching in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. He threw 61 innings, giving up 53 hits and walking 32 (1.39 WHIP) and struck out 53 (a 20.4% K rate) compiling a 3.10 ERA and a 3.46 FIP.
Starting in Double-A and later pitching in Triple-A, Everts was not successful at all. He only pitched 7 2/3 innings in Buffalo but walked 10 and struck out only one. With several younger pitchers coming up to Buffalo (Chad Beck, John Stilson), Everts was not able to impress the brass enough to hold on to his job.
Best of luck to Clint Everts who is no longer a member of the Blue Jays organization.