Ah, spring. The bees are buzzing and flowers are blooming. Who cares? Evan Longoria is healthy and back playing third base for the Tampa Bay Rays. No one has missed their star more in MLB than the Rays. After missing more than half the season last year with a partially torn left hamstring, he’s back.
The Rays have consistently been near the top of their division with Longoria. He has posted phenomenal numbers: a .276 BA with a .361 OBP, .516 SLG, and .877 OPS. He scored 380 runs, 130 HR and 456 RBI.
Before Longoria came to the Rays, they only won 66 games in 2007 and finished in the cellar of the American League East. Then he came and 2008 saw the Rays win 97 games, finishing at the top of the AL east. The Rays went from worst to first with Longoria and the Rays winning the American League pennant and a trip to the World Series.
But what Rays fans want to know is—how is he now? That’s the good news. He is playing well this spring: 9 for 21, .429 BA, .435 OBP, .619 SLG, and 1.054 OPS. With Longoria healthy, the Rays have a chance to win every time he’s in the game. His leadership and play have made the Rays very successful as a franchise and without him, there is little chance for them to be competitive.
Playing third base, Longoria has a .963 fielding percentage. His glove and his big bat have helped the Rays win. That’s why the Rays have signed him through 2022 for $144.5 million.
Longoria is back and the Rays couldn’t be happier.