Futures Market: Evan Longoria
In the span of three years, Evan Longoria went from being an unknown to one of baseball’s top prospects.
Evan Longoria was not drafted out of high school, instead having to settle joining the baseball team at Rio Hondo community college. His strong junior college performance and a growth spurt that added two inches and 25 pounds to Longoria’s frame led to a transfer to Long Beach State for his sophomore season. Longoria’s first season in 1-A was relatively successful, but nothing to write home about. Benefiting from the increased scouting exposure due to teammate Troy Tulowitzki, Evan was subsequently invited to play for the Chatman A’in the Cape Cop league during the summer of 2005.
Heading into the 2005 Cape Cod short season, Longoria was considered a medium level prospect at best. This would all change by the end of the season. Longoria led the cape in a number of important categories, including 8 HR, 35 RBI & a .500 SLG percentage, on his way to being named league MVP. Longoria was voted the top offensive prospect in the league by Baseball America. Evan took this momentum into the 2006 NCAA campaign, emerging as one of the top college hitters in the nation.
One major statistical change to note is the complete reversal in his K:BB ratio, which was 41:14 in 2005 to a stellar 29:40 in 2006. This, coupled with a near .200 point jump in slugging percentage confirmed Longoria’s top ten draft status.
He has excellent hands that translate well both at the plate and in the field. Longoria’s bat speed gives him at least average power, and it allows him to let balls get deep and use the entire field – Baseball America Pre-Draft Analysis.
Considered a safe pick heading into the draft, the Tampa Bay Devils Rays selected Longoria with the number three pick, signed him to a $3 million signing bonus and moved him to Hudson Valley (A-), with the promise of moving up to Visalia Oaks (A+) quickly. However, once at Visalia Oaks Longoria preceded to decimate league pitching, to the tune of a .618 slugging percentage and was quickly promoted to Montgomery (AA) after only 28 games in high A. Upon joining Montgomery Longoria refused to slow down, slugging .648 in his first 14 games.
BJ Upton, who has been moved to third base in what the Tampa Bay Devil Rays call a “short-term move” has many insiders believing that Longoria will be moved to second base in the near future. While senior VP of baseball operations, Gerry Hunsicker has publicly stated that a September call-up is a “long-shot”, Longoria has made a living off of beating the odds and is clearly on a fast track to the majors.
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|Evan Longoria: Individual Stats (Batting)|
|Long Beach State (NCAA)||2005||58||228||34||73||8||0||5||30||Â||14||41||10||1||.368||.421||.320|
|Long Beach State (NCAA)||2006||56||201||42||71||13||2||11||43||Â||40||29||3||3||.468||.602||.353|
|Hudson Valley Renegades (A-)||06/20||06/29||8||33||5||14||1||1||4||11||29||5||5||1||0||.487||.879||.424|
|Visalia Oaks (A+)||06/29||08/03||28||110||22||36||8||0||8||28||68||13||19||1||1||.402||.618||.327|
|Montgomery Biscuits (AA)||08/04||08/20||14||53||9||18||4||0||4||12||34||1||10||0||0||.339||.642||.340|
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