Name: Evan Longoria
Team: Tampa Bay Rays
DOB: October 7, 1985
Drafted: 1st Round (#3 overall), 2006 by the Rays.
Awards: 2006 Co-Big West Player of the Year;
Longoria was un-drafted out of high school and didn’t receive baseball scholarships from any Division I colleges. He spent his first year of college at Rio Hondo Community College. He was first team All-State in his freshman season and received a scholarship from Long Beach State University. In his first season, he was an All Conference player. He followed that with Co-Big West Player of the Year selection.
He was drafted following his junior season by the Devil Rays with the third overall pick. Baseball America deemed him the “best pure hitter” out of all the draft-eligible college players. He received a $3MM signing bonus.
He hit the ground running in his first stop in the minors; he spent 8 games with Short Season A Hudson Valley, then was moved to Hi A Visalia Oaks. He spent all of 28 games in Hi A before being promoted to Double A Montgomery. He struggled a little at first, but came alive in the post-season; the Biscuits won the Double A Southern League championship.
He started 2007 as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball. He began the season back with Montgomery and spent most of the season there. He put up good numbers; good enough to earn a promotion at the end of the season to Triple A Durham. He finished the year batting .299 with 26 homers. He was called the next Ryan Braun by Ken Rosenthal (because of his quick rise to the majors).
Everyone expected Longoria to start 2008 with the Rays; they shocked everyone by sending him back to Triple A to start the season. They claimed it was because he had a limited amount of at bats above Double A. One could cite that Alex Gordon was rushed through the minors and struggled when he was first called up. Add in that Braun started the previous season in the minors and succeed when he was called up. Most figured that the Rays made this move to delay his service clock. Without playing the full season in the Majors, the Rays would have Longoria an additional year before he became eligible for it.
Longoria got called up April 12 when third baseman Willy Aybar got hurt. Longoria has played ok since the call up and Aybar has been moved to the bench. Shortly after the call up, the Rays signed Longoria to a 6 year, $17.5MM deal with 3 options to cover his first 3 years of free agency. If Longoria lives up to his potential, this deal will be considered a steal.
Rookie Cards (base):
2006 Bowman Chrome Draft Draft Picks Evan Longoria AU 66
2006 Bowman Heritage Prospects Evan Longoria 76
2006 Bowman Originals Prospects Evan Longoria 12
2006 Just Rookies Evan Longoria 28
2006 Justifiable Evan Longoria 23
2006 TriStar Prospects Plus Evan Longoria PD 4