… To begin the season, anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I love Evan Longoria. I kick myself everyday for not keeping him the year before he entered the league. I kick myself even more for telling my friend about Ryan Braun and then he goes behind my back and picks him up, but that’s a different story.
Back to Longoria. He was great during the season last year. He hits bombs in an emerging lineup and plays unreal defense. However, I did not like how he ended the season, especially in the playoffs. In the playoffs, he only hit .194 and struck out 20 times in 62 at bats. He did hit 6 home runs, but this is a telling sign of simply catching pitches and swining freely. He does have a very beautiful swing, but at the end of the season, it looked long and lazy. I still can’t get over the 20 strike outs in the playoffs.
Another factor is that the Devil Rays will not sneak up on teams this year, especially Longoria. Don’t get me wrong, teams must have known that Longoria is a great hitter, but this upcoming year, pitches and pitching coaches will surely test Longoria with off speed pitches. After a year under his belt, this gives other teams to develop their scouting reports on Longoria.
After all this being said, I hope he struggles out of the gate, so I can get him at a much lower value that I will be able to get him right now. I would suggest the same thing to everyone else because Evan Longoria is going to be a monster. He is going to have nice protection in the lineup with BJ Upton and Carlos Pena. After his early sruggles this season, I would expect him to hit close to 30 HR, hit .275, 100 RBI’s, but A LOT of strikeouts.