Few players in fantasy baseball were as frustrating to own as Evan Longoria in 2012.
Fresh off a 31 home run, 99 RBI 2011 campaign, the Tampa Bay Rays third baseman came into last season as one of the best third basemen in the game. He was an unquestioned first or second round pick, a near lock for 25 home runs and close to 100 RBI, but there was one thing to worry about with the 25-year-old stud—injuries.
After missing nearly 30 games in 2011, Longoria suffered a partially torn hamstring in 2012 that cost him more than half of the season. He played in only 74 games, proving a bust for those unlucky enough to have spent a top pick on him.
Come 2013, don’t let that scare you away.
Despite the injuries, Longoria is still Longoria. In less than half a season last year he managed a .289 average with 15 home runs and 55 RBI. Over a full 162 game season, that equates to about 36 home runs and 116 RBI to go along with 82 runs scored and a .289 average.
His recent injury woes are a definite red flag, but if he can manage to stay healthy in 2013 we could see a career performance from Longoria. At 27 he’s in the thick of his prime, and with a third base position that’s thinner than usual in 2013, that could make him more valuable than ever.
To take Longoria early on is to take a risk that he doesn’t fall to the injury bug yet again, but it could pay off greatly. Don’t reach for him, but if he falls in your draft, don’t hesitate to take him.
2013 Projections: 145 GP / .290 / 30 HR / 110 RBI / 20 SB