June 2020: Carter was the Rangers' 2nd round pick out of Elizabethton High School in Tennessee. And Carter signed with the Rangers for a bonus of $1.25 million, via scouts Derrick Tucker and Ryan Coe, below the slot value of $1,469,900 for the assigned 50th overall pick.
Evan had signed a commit to Duke.
Evan was a member of the National Honor Society, and has served as part of the Student Government Association for all four years of his high school career. Carter is also involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Evan was a two-sport athlete who also played football during his freshman year where he was a wide receiver and safety.
Carter plans to sign with the Rangers over going to Duke, calling the decision a "no-brainer."
"It's a great organization," Carter said via Zoom call. "I'm truly blessed to be a part of their family and I thank God for the opportunity to be a part of it."
The Rangers were very interested in Carter from the get-go.
"He's an unbelievable kid," said Rangers Senior Director of Amateur Scouting Kip Fagg. "We saw him last summer. We saw him in the fall. Actually, the last game I saw this spring before the pandemic, I was in Elizabethton, Tennessee. I was in front of the family a couple of times. Unbelievable family. Unbelievable kid. He was the valedictorian of his high school. It's incredible. He's a five-tool player. We feel like we beat a lot of teams."
June 12, 2020: Despite being taken with the No. 50 selection, Carter was not listed on MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Prospects list going into the Draft. Other lists also did not include him. He was undaunted by such projections and was ready with his Rangers cap when they drafted him.
“I know I have always flown under the radar,” Carter said. “I never went to the Perfect Game camps or anything like that. I know wherever I show up, I’m there to compete and I’m there to be the best. I definitely let my actions speak for themselves on the field.”
Carter is signing as a left-handed-hitting outfielder, even though he also impressed as a right-handed pitcher in high school.
“This is kind of a no-brainer,” Carter said about signing with the Rangers. “It just kind of makes sense to me and my family.”
As a junior in 2019, Carter was named Super 22 Player of the Year and earned first-team all-state honors. He hit .324 with four home runs and 27 RBIs, while going 10-2 with a 1.34 ERA and six complete games on the mound.
Carter comes from the same high school that produced former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. Carter played football as a freshman, playing wide receiver and safety, and his coach was Witten's brother, Shawn.
Carter said he grew up rooting for the Rangers. His father, Jason, is a Rangers fan and is friends with Danny Clark, the organization’s Minor League pitching coordinator.
“We were a little worried, there were a couple of teams on him,” Fagg said. “I knew Kansas City was on him. Pittsburgh was another team. We were very excited to get this guy. He is the one guy today I think our group is most excited about.” (TR Sullivan - MLB.com - June 12, 2020)
- In 2021, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Carter as the 16th-best prospect in the Rangers organization. He moved up to #8 in the spring of 2022. And he was the #1 Rangers' prospect in the spring of 2023 -- and #1 again in 2024..
2020 Season: Carter was part of the Rangers’ Instructional League team in October 2020. And despite being one of the youngest players in Arizona at Instructs, word is he turned a lot of heads around baseball with his performance at the plate. BP specifically says he “absolutely destroyed the ball against a higher level of arm” than usually is at Instructs, in noting that he could be “on the national scene as soon as next season. (Adam J. Morris - Jan 25, 2021)
2021 Season: Though they surprised many clubs by taking Carter in 2020's second round out of a Tennessee high school, the Rangers believed in his five-tool potential and his makeup. A stress fracture shut down his 2021 pro debut after 32 games, but he impressed with his patience (34 walks) and flashed solid tools across the board. (January 6, 2022 - William Boor, Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra)
March 8, 2022: Evan doesn’t think much about what could have happened in 2020.
In the fall of 2020, Carter should have been starting his freshman season at Duke University. With the MLB Draft shortened to just five rounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carter figured to be on his way to college after graduating from Elizabethton High School (Elizabethton, Tenn.).
Instead, the Rangers shocked the baseball world by selecting him in the second round at No. 50 overall. Carter wasn’t ranked on MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 Draft prospects for that season and not even Baseball America’s Top 500, but the Rangers saw something in him that fit the organization.
"He's an unbelievable kid," said Rangers senior director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg after the Draft. "We saw him last summer. We saw him in the fall. Actually, the last game I saw this spring before the pandemic, I was in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Unbelievable family. Unbelievable kid. He was the valedictorian of his high school. It's incredible. He's a five-tool player. We feel like we beat a lot of teams."
Fagg added that other clubs, specifically the Royals and Pirates, were high on Carter and there was no guarantee he would be available for the Rangers’ next pick in the third round. Assistant general manager for player development Ross Fenstermaker also said that Carter would have been on more radars if not for the pandemic. Carter also doesn’t like to think about what could or would have happened if COVID-19 hadn’t cut his senior season short. He’s just happy to be where he is now.
"I was always a big believer in just letting your play talk for itself," Carter said. "I’m not going to go out here and say what would’ve happened. I'm just going to play and have fun and that's all I could do. I can’t say for sure [how things would have changed]. Obviously, everybody wants to play their senior season in high school, but as far as how things would have turned out, I'm just grateful for the way they did. I'm not looking back on anything now."
It quickly became apparent that the Rangers' decision to pick Carter where they did wasn't misguided. He shined at instructional league in 2020 and made his professional debut with Low-A Down East in May. He slashed .236/.438/.387 over 32 games before his potential breakthrough debut season was suddenly derailed by a lower back fracture in mid-June. "I got hurt and that's not what you want to see," Carter said. "But there's good in everything. I believe God's got a plan for me. I learned a lot of stuff here in rehab and being around the facility throughout the season, I wouldn't have otherwise. There’s a positive to everything. ... I was always super grateful to have the team that I did have."
While his slash line doesn’t blow anybody away on the surface, Carter quickly adjusted to professional baseball. After posting just a .203 average in May, he hit .297 over 11 games in June before sustaining the back injury. He also drew 34 walks to 28 strikeouts and added 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts.
Fenstermaker noted that Carter has a good foundation as a hitter, with his control of the zone and ability to recognize pitches. At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, Carter is quick for his size, and when he fills out and builds strength, he’ll be in a better place at the plate going forward. "I think he has, at his age, an elite ability to control the zone," said Carlos Cardoza, who was his manager at Low-A. "Oftentimes, that's a big-time indicator of guys that are going to hit and hit well. It was a short span, but even in that short span, I think he learned a lot. I think all the ingredients are there for him to succeed if he can stay healthy and have a great year next year." (K Landry - MLB.com - March 8, 2022)
2022 Season: Carter was named the Rangers Minor League Player Of The Year by Baseball America. He also won a Minor League Gold Glove.
Outfielder Evan Carter has been a professional baseball player since 2020, when there was no minor league season.
He broke spring training in 2021 with Low-A Down East, but a stress fracture in his lower back ended his season after just 32 games.
The 2022 season was effectively Carter's first full year as a pro. The 20-year-old spent the bulk of the season at High-A Hickory before a late promotion to Double-A Frisco.
Carter didn’t just survive, he flourished, proving again that the Rangers were wise to spend their second-round pick on the Elizabethton (Tenn.) High product.
“For me, I feel like I’ve controlled what I can control,” Carter said. “Regardless of the outcomes, I’ve been happy with my effort and preparation that I feel like I’ve done to be ready for the season. That’s all I can judge—things I can control—and I’m really happy with those.
"It’s been a good year as far as that goes.”
The Rangers see Carter as a potential five-tool player. He is already growing into his power, which is boosted by his outstanding strike-zone discipline.
In 106 games this season he hit .295/.397/.489 with 12 home runs, 28 stolen bases, 64 walks and 81 strikeouts.
His success comes two years after many questioned the Rangers for drafting him when they did. He was not considered one of the country's elite draft prospects, though the Rangers believe he would have been on draft boards had his high school season not been canceled by the pandemic.
“It makes you feel happy that the people who did trust their decision or stick their necks out for you and make that decision, you feel proud that you proved them right,” Carter said.
“I’m not out here trying to prove anybody wrong. (Jeff Wilson on September 19, 2022)
Aug 28, 2023: How’s that for a birthday present? Rangers top prospect Evan Carter, who turned 21, was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on his birthday.
Barely 24 hours after his promotion to Triple-A, Evan Carter gave himself an unforgettable 21st birthday present ... four, to be exact.
He equaled a career high with four hits in his Triple-A debut and added an RBI and a stolen base for good measure. Round Rock's won 10-9 over Oklahoma City at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Carter got the start in center field in the Express’ game against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. MLB Pipeline’s No. 8 overall prospect, Carter slashed .284/.411/.451 with 12 homers in 97 games with Double-A Frisco this season. Since coming off the injured list from a nagging hand injury on June 21, Carter has slashed .290/.417/.500 with a .917 OPS in 56 games.
He admitted the hand injury, which he suffered after being hit by a pitch in May, affected him more than he realized, and he could have used the break a little sooner. “He's really turned it on [in the second half], and he’s been very good,” said GM Chris Young. “We're excited. We feel the same about him as we have since the beginning of the year. He's a tremendously talented player. He embodies Ranger values and we’re excited about his future.”
The Rangers’ second-round pick in the 2020 Draft, Carter has had a long journey from being an Elizabethton, Tenn., high schooler. He was not listed on MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Prospects or Baseball America’s Top 500 entering the Draft. The pick was widely criticized by much of the baseball community. The outfielder has continued to prove the doubters wrong ever since.
Carter was the Rangers' Minor League Player of the Year in 2022, slashing .295/.397/.489 with 21 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs, 28 steals and 73 RBIs between High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco. He also won a Minor League Gold Glove Award in center field. (K Landry - MLB.com - Aug 29, 2023)
MLB debut (Sept 8, 2023): Evan Carter said back in July that he didn’t just want to be a top prospect. He wanted to be a big leaguer. Now he is.
The Rangers called up Carter, the club’s No. 1 prospect, to debut in the club's eventual 6-3 loss vs. Oakland at Globe Life Field. Carter went 1-for-3 with a single in his first at-bat, a walk and a stolen base. Carter was called up after Texas had to place outfielder Adolis García on the IL.
“I’m going to be on cloud nine, kind of floating out there,” Carter said. “I'm sure the legs are going to be a little bit like jelly underneath me, but I'm really excited. I'm sure once the game gets going, everything will kind of ease out. Baseball is baseball no matter what level, so I'm just really excited.”
General manager Chris Young said Carter has been on the front office’s radar all season long, but especially in recent weeks since his promotion to Triple-A Round Rock. “[García's] injury aside, Evan has performed at both Double-A and Triple-A this year,” Young said. “He has an elite approach, strike zone awareness and control and really fits the profile of a player that we think can have success at the Major League level. We also recognize that Evan is still developing and there's a learning curve.
“This will be the best pitching he's ever faced in the Major Leagues and he's coming into a pennant race. I don't want any unfair expectations for Evan. But we're very, very excited to add him to our roster. We're very optimistic and excited about his future and we think he makes the Texas Rangers better, both now and in the future. We're excited for his debut.”
Carter hit .284/.411/.451 with 12 homers and 22 steals in 97 games with Double-A Frisco this season before a birthday promotion to Triple-A Round Rock on Aug. 29. He played just eight games with the Express, but slashed .353/.436/.382 with a double and three steals over that time.
Sept. 8, 2023: According to Rangers radio play-by-play announcer Jared Sandler, Carter is the first player in the expansion era with a hit, walk, stolen base, and outfield assist in his Major League debut. (Brian Sweet)
GM Chris Young said they anticipate Carter will play almost every day at the big league level, but especially against right-handed pitchers. He hit .292 with all but one of 35 extra-base hits against righties, compared to .272 against lefties this season. (K Landry - MLB.com - Sept 8, 2023)
Standing on first base in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, Texas Rangers rookie Evan Carter strapped a protective sliding mitt onto his left hand and readied to run. As if the Houston Astros needed another element of Carter’s game to fear, his left hand had just transformed into Dracula. The vampiric sliding mitt featured a white background, black hair, two bloody fangs, a (winged) bat and a black strap designed to look like Dracula’s cape. Halloween had come early.
“Won’t be home for it this year. Shoot,” Carter said later, ahead of his first World Series. “I’d rather be here, though, than home for Halloween.”
The Dracula sliding mitt had arrived in the home clubhouse at Globe Life Field in Arlington that morning in a box shipped from the Nashville studio of a company called Absolutely Ridiculous innovation for Athletes (ARiA).
In that box Carter opened before Game 4 of the ALCS, there were three sliding mitts: Resurrection, Bible and … Dracula. He texted X: I’m gonna wear the Dracula tonight. But by now he’s worn all three. He wore the Bible mitt in the next game and the Resurrection mitt ever since. X knows this because people message him every time Carter is on base.
Like in Game 5 of the ALCS. Carter walked leading off the eighth inning. He reached first base, did his prayer-hands celebration toward the Rangers dugout, and strapped on his sliding mitt. On the next pitch, Astros reliever Bryan Abreu drilled Adolis García with a 99 mph fastball. García saw red. Benches cleared. Rivals beefed. Carter ran back along the first-base line toward home plate, a rookie wading into the fray to make peace, his left hand still covered by a brown sliding mitt designed to look like the Bible.
(Nesbitt - Oct 30, 2023- The Athletic)
2023 Season: ROK/AA/AAA: .288/.413/.450, 108 G, 13 HR, 67 RBI, 79 R, 81 BB, 26 SB
Very rarely does a prospect open the year at Double-A and finish it with a World Series title, but that's the improbable run that Carter made this season. Throw in a three-game rehab stint at the Rookie-level Arizona Complex League to really add to the unlikeliness of it all for good measure, and you've got a storybook season for the 21-year-old who made his debut in The Show on Sept. 8 and wasn't just part of Texas' championship run but a pivotal piece of it. "There really isn't much that Carter can't do well, and he showed that on the biggest stage in the game," Bonifay said. "Above average outfielder in center and left, makes smart decisions throwing to the bases, one of our highest sprint speeds in the organization, can hit it to all fields, bunt, steal a bag. Just an elite athlete and player." (Rob Terranova - Dec. 20, 2023)
Evan Carter appearing in every game of a World Series playoff run and will still be considered a rookie next year. — Forrest D.
We’re still in awe over what Carter did in that postseason, Forrest. He was 21 years old. He’d been in the big leagues for three weeks when this Octoberfest began. Then all he did was hit .306/.413/.645 for The Team that Won the World Series. Woah.
So what’s so Strange But True about that? Of the first 21 times Carter ever came to bat in a postseason game, he reached base in 13 of them. And did you know he has already been on base more times in the postseason (30) than Ken Griffey Jr. (29)? So, that Evan Carter October was as Strange But True as it gets. (Stark - Dec 29, 2023 - The Athletic)