Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria Heating Up Down The Stretch

By Randy Holt
Evan Longoria
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 season has been a good one for Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria. He’s been his typical steady self at the hot corner, while providing a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Perhaps most important of all, he’s managed to remain healthy throughout the season, having already eclipsed his 2012 games total by over 50 games.

Longoria’s numbers throughout the season have been steady, though it hasn’t been without its ups and downs. The superstar third baseman has struggled at times throughout the season, including in the month of July, when he hit just .194 and hit just four home runs, while knocking in only 11 runs.

In fact, Longoria’s numbers in the first half of the season overall look much better than they do here in the second half. It was a first half of 2013 that included a .278 average, 18 of his 28 home runs, and 52 RBIs. Of course, baseball’s “first half” consists of a great deal more games than the second.

Nonetheless, Longoria hasn’t experienced quite the same level of success here in the second half, but he has heated up down the stretch for the Rays. His August numbers in particular are strong, as he’s been able to rebound from that rough month of July. As the wins become more crucial for Tampa Bay, Longoria has stepped his game up.

For the month of August, Longoria’s average is up to .291, bringing him to the .276 he’s standing at on the season overall. He’s hit seven home runs for the month, the second most he’s hit in any month this season, one behind his June total. More importantly, the advanced figures look great. His wRC+ in August is up to an outstanding 177 and he’s OPSing 1.022.

This is fantastic news for the Rays, who need every win they can get at this point in the season. Longoria has had a solid season overall, but the fact that he’s heating up as much as he is right now bodes well for the Rays as the calendar turns into September and they head into this final stretch of games.

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