Evan Longoria 2008 Year in Review
In a storybook 2008 season, Evan Longoria has signed a $44 million contract, likely won a ROY award and set an all-time playoff record.
In the first inning during the Rays Oct 15th victory over the Boston Red Sox Evan Longoria hit his 5th post-season home run. This set an all-time mark for home runs by a rookie in the MLB playoffs, passing Miguel Cabrera’s four HR in 2003. To go along with his 5 HR he has also posted 9 RBI and 9 runs scored in eight playoff games. If possible, his 2008 playoff run has been even better than his standout regular season.
2008 Regular Season in Review
Only injury and the Rays milking his arbitration clock kept him from reaching 30 to 35 home runs in his rookie season.
When the 2008 regular season began the Rays sent Longoria down to AAA Durham. Did he need more seasoning? Certainly not. The reason for the his exclusion from the major league roster was simple. The Rays wanted to slow his arbitration clock and keep him in Tampa for at least one more season (which would be his fourth) at a low cost.
The end result of this strategy was Evan missing about two weeks of the regular season, as he made his MLB debut on April 12th. Tampa turned this arbitration strategy into a long-term negotiation tactic and on April 18th, merely six days after his MLB debut, it was announced that Evan Longoria signed what was in effect a nine year contract (six years & a three year team option) for the price of $44 million.
With the contract squared away Longoria preceded to mash major league pitching to the tune of 27 HR and 85 RBI. If anything, his rookie season was very consistent. Only once did he post an OPS below .800 during a month (May) and twice he had OPS’ over 1.000 (June & a shortened August). Around the middle of August Longoria fractured his right wrist after being hit by a pitch. He would miss close to a month with the injury, as he rejoined the Rays for the final three weeks of September.
Although some challengers have arisen during the regular season in the form of Jacoby Ellsbury and Alexei Rameriz, Evan Longoria is the odds on favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year award. On the way he may earn an ALCS MVP award and who knows, maybe a World Series ring.
You can also check out our 2006 Evan Longoria Bio – Early Career, College and Minors