As kids, Evan Longoria and his three siblings (a younger sister and two younger brothers) each had a sports equipment bag, and when Michael Longoria came home from his job as a school maintenance worker to take them to practices, Evan's bag was already packed. "He always wanted to practice," his Dad says. "He was always ready to work."
In Longoria's senior year at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California, he was only 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds. He was overshadowed by his teammate Derrick Williams, a three-sport star who went on to play three unexceptional seasons as a tailback/kick returner at UCLA.
Evan wasn't drafted out of high school or a year later at Rio Hondo Jr. College in California, but his game and body have matured since then. Longoria has grown two inches and 25 pounds since junior college, adding strength.
Evan is not sure why, but he learned how to hit. "Something just clicked," he says. He hit .430 in his one year at Rio Hondo, then transferred to Long Beach State in 2004 and hit .320 as a sophomore, and .353 as a junior in the spring of 2005.
Evan says that playing high school water polo helped him in baseball.
"There are a lot of things that translate, the stamina part and the strengthening of your legs and arms," he said. "Swimming is probably the best cardio workout you can do. But baseball was always the game that I loved most."
In the summer of 2005, Longoria led the Cape Cod League in homers (8), RBIs (35), and slugging percentage (.500) during an MVP season.
While Evan's name similarity to that of "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria attracted attention, Longoria is not related to her.
During the winter before 2007 spring training, Baseball America rated Longoria as second best prospect in the D'Rays organization, behind only Delmon Young. And they moved Evan up to #1 in the Rays organization in the spring of 2008.
In 2007, Longoria was MVP of the Southern League. He ranked among the league leaders in average (.307), homers (21), on-base percentage (.403), and slugging (.528) when he left for Triple-A in July.
Evan is very competitive and has a strong makeup. He is a winning player with a solid approach to the game. He brings a lot of intangibles to the field.
According to Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune: Longoria began playing baseball when he was 4 or 5 years old, goofing around like every other kid. He started out in a church league sponsored by the St. Dominic Savio parish, in the L.A. suburb of Bellflower.
Evan is the oldest of Michael and Ellie Longoria's four children (three of them boys), and his Dad was his coach growing up.
"Baseball's been the only thing I ever really enjoyed playing," he said. "I played other sports and I liked other sports, but the only thing that really stuck was baseball."
Longoria grew into an all-league player at St. John Bosco High School, which sits next door to St. Dominic Savio, but he didn't open enough eyes to get drafted as a senior in 2003.
"His hands were just exceptional, so that's one thing that really stood out for us," Long Beach coach Mike Weathers said. "And then I thought his arm strength as a shortstop was fine. I thought he could play short for us, but I already had one."
That would be Troy Tulowitzki, currently of the Colorado Rockies, who quickly became a friend and mentor to Longoria when the younger player settled in beside him at third base for the 2005 season.
It wasn't until the summer after his first year at Long Beach that Longoria started to believe he might be able to make a living playing baseball.
He was invited to participate in the prestigious Cape Cod League, considered a critical proving ground for college hitters because wood bats are used instead of aluminum. Longoria had never used a wood bat in competition but ended up leading the summer league in home runs and RBIs and was named its Most Valuable Player.
That performance made believers of the scouts who had been skeptical of the skinny kid from St. John Bosco a few years earlier, and a standout junior year at Long Beach sealed his spot among the upper echelon of pro prospects.
"Him not being pampered and being labeled a superstar from day one, he always had to work and prove himself," Jondoe said. "Instead of taking that as a negative, Evan took the approach, 'Well, I'll show them.' He wasn't bitter, but he said, 'I think I can play and I'll show them through my work ethic,' and that kind of stuff, and I think he did."
He listens to Hinske and other veterans and picks their brains. He asks Rays adviser Don Zimmer for stories. And the rookie is drawn to men like Frank Robinson.
"He's a legend," Longoria said. "Those are the guys who laid the groundwork for the game we play."
Legends aren't made in two months. But moments do happen.
Longoria refuses to dwell on them, preferring the bigger picture, you know, the team, and being in the mix. But when prodded, he smiled ...
"My first home run will always be my favorite. Then I'd say the walk-off homer, then the one I hit in Anaheim. The ball I hit in Texas was the farthest, I think."
"The one I threw off my knees the other night was my favorite play."
It's goes by so fast at times . . .
"It's tough. We've been winning here. You try to take it day by day, but it speeds up on you."
Somehow, this kid slows it down. (Martin Fennelly/The Tampa Tribune - June 2008)
On October 2, 2008, Longoria hit home runs in his first two career postseason at-bats. Only Gary Gaetti, playing for the Twins in the 1987 AL playoffs against Detroit, had ever done that.
And on October 14, 2008, Evan hit his fifth postseason homer, most by a rookie, and tied the ALCS mark with homers in three straight games (matching the Yankees' Bernie Williams in 2001); the LCS record is four by Gary Matthews (1983 Phillies) and Jeffrey Leonard (1987 Giants).
In 2008, Longoria was the unanimous selection as American League Rookie of the Year.
Evan is a quiet SoCal kid and he exudes an innate confidence. It's a competitive ruthlessness lurking just beneath the gracious veneer. Longoria is sure he'll figure out a way to kick your ass. "The thing about Evan is that he likes the stardom, he likes all the pressure on him," says Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki, who shared a college suite with Longoria at Long Beach State. "That's what a superstar has to do, because everybody is looking at you. You've got to want to be special."
In his first year at Long Beach State, he slept on a futon in Tulowitzki's suite. The coaches remember him as remarkably quiet, comfortable in his space as Tulo's sidekick. Tulo was the star, the leader, the shortstop, so Longoria became a third baseman. When Ken Ravizza, a sports psychology consultant for the baseball team, first met Longoria, he suspected the teenager didn't see the merits of working on his mental approach, but in time he turned out to be the perfect sponge. (Buster Olney-ESPN the Magazine-5/18/09)
In 2009, Longoria's #3 jersey ranked among the top 10 sellers in baseball, among all fans.
Evan loves to cook. He says his mom taught him a lot of Ukrainian dishes, such as stuffed cabbage.
"I love to cook. I love to entertain," Longoria said.
In 2012, Longoria was getting around in his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SuperSport, with a value of about $75,000.
February 20, 2013: Evan left the Rays' spring camp in Port Charlotte to be with his girlfriend Jaime Edmondson for the birth of their daughter, Elle Leona. She was about six weeks early, not being due until April 2. Labor was induced due to health concerns about Edmondson's chronic high blood pressure. Elle Leona arrived to the world weighing 4.1 pounds and 18 inches long. Mother and baby are both doing well.
"She's beautiful, she's beautiful," Longoria said. "It was pretty miraculous. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I probably read more about childbirth and having a baby than I have most things in life," Evan said. "I wanted to be as prepared as I can. You guys know me, preparation has always been something in this game that I have been good at. I didn't want it to kind of come as a surprise."
Anybody in Tampa Bay's clubhouse is more than happy to talk about how important Longoria is to the 2013 version of the team, including reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price.
"He doesn't even have to be hitting well to improve our lineup," Price said. "His name being in the lineup, the pitcher knows when he's on deck, when he's in the hole, when he's due up fifth in that inning. They know where Longo is at all times. They probably know where he's sitting in the dugout.
"So it's a good thing to have him in the lineup. It gives everybody else a lot more stuff to hit, because nobody wants Evan Longoria to beat them. You know [the] guy on each team that you don't want to beat you. You're going to make somebody else beat you. And for us, that's Evan Longoria. It's fun to watch when he's in the lineup how different everything is." (3/26/13)
September 30, 2013: "It seems like every big moment that we have, he's right in the middle of it," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said of the 27-year-old Longoria. "He's able to slow the game down in a way that only the best players can. He is the lynchpin to the success that we've had and the success that we're going to have in the future. And so it's very fitting that he's going to be a big part of this game."
Evan has been front row and center in dealing with the media, demonstrating how he has evolved into a leader on the team.
"The thing I've always mentioned is leadership is taken, it's not given," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "With him, he understands his role, within the organization and within the game. I think again, I've spoken about that for the last couple of years.
"So it doesn't surprise me that he would understand the moment, 'I need to be there to speak to the media (in the 2013 AL playoffs). I know most of the guys aren't, but I need to be there and talk and speak on their behalf,' and he did," Maddon said. "And it doesn't surprise me in the least."
When asked if Longoria's addressing the media helped the team, Maddon replied, "Of course it does. When one guy or guys might take the brunt of all of that, especially this time of year, it permits them to chill a little bit more, it definitely matters," Maddon said. (10/07/13)
Before Game 3 of the ALDS against the Red Sox, the Rays' third baseman was given a guitar signed by Slash. The gift was courtesy of Longoria's girlfriend, Playboy model Jaime Edmondson.
Jaime was a contestant on the 14th season and the 18th season of the CBS reality show "The Amazing Race."
Former Rays outfielder Gabe Kapler writes a lifestyle and fitness blog, and he occasionally uses guest bloggers. Current Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer penned a guest blog earlier in the season, and now Evan has joined the party.
"He had asked me a month ago if I would write something for his blog," Longoria said. "And I asked him what he wanted me to write. He said, 'Whatever you want. If you want to write about food. If you want to write about sports. If you want to write about fantasy football, anything.'"
Longoria opted to write one titled, "The Changing Face of Youth Baseball," a subject to which he has give a lot of thought lately.
"Kapler's a really smart guy," Longoria said. "I think anybody who has ever been around him—he brings a very interesting element to the clubhouse. He's a father, a foodie, a great baseball player, he's been a manager. He's done a ton of different things during his career. We've remained friends."
Kapler is well above average where fitness is concerned. Longoria smiled when asked if "Kap" was the fittest guy he had ever been around in a clubhouse.
"Yeah, and probably works at it the hardest, too," Longoria said. "I think you have to enjoy that kind of thing, and he does. Working out, whatever it is, he takes his two boys with him, he enjoys eating well. He used to bring his own stuff to the field. He's an incredible guy, man." (Chastain - mlb.com - 6/20/14)
November 15, 2014: While playing a game at the Japan All-Star game in Tokyo, Evan's son was born in Arizona. In the middle innings of the game, the news flashed across his cell phone screen.
"I got to see it all on FaceTime," Longoria said. "It was a pretty cool moment." Both baby and mother Jaime Edmondson are doing well.
Though Longoria's second child's due date was Nov. 18—two days before the All-Star Series is scheduled to end—he decided to attend the trip anyway, with his fiancée's blessing. He's looking forward to reuniting with Edmondson and the couple's daughter, Elle. Longoria tweeted later that day that they named his son Nash.
May 7, 2015: Longoria's modest Major League-leading 198 games-started streak ended.
PLAYS THE DRUMS
Keith Moon, the famous drummer known for his work with the The Who, doesn't exactly come to mind at the sound of the beat vibrating throughout the underbelly of Tropicana Field. Good thing since the guy playing the drums is Evan Longoria, and Rays fans wouldn't want the face of the team to quit his day job. Fortunately, playing third base for the Rays and messing around with the drums aren't mutually exclusive for Longoria, who began playing in 2009 when veteran catcher Greg Zaun joined the team.
"Zaun would bring an electronic kit to the field' and he'd go play it early before anybody really got to the field," Longoria said. "I had always kind of wanted to learn to play a musical instrument, so once I found out what he was doing, it became my first exposure and opportunity to do it. I would try to show up earlier than him and go back there and play by myself. And really, I just learned very basic stuff from YouTube, watching YouTube videos. Drum tutorials online."
Longoria usually plays for 10 or 15 minutes every other day. Putting that into perspective he noted, "The guys you hear on the radio probably grew up playing five, six hours a day. There's a big difference in time and dedication there."
Longoria allowed that he has "progressed much" past the YouTube tutorials. "I've had some opportunities to take some lessons," he said. "I've got some friends who are musicians that I've watched play for some hints and tips here and there. But I've never gone much further than just playing by myself, kind of banging away in the back room."
Longoria views the drums as a form of relaxation.
"It's just a way to get away," he said. "That's kind of the definition of a hobby. Something that takes your mind off of whatever it is, the things you stress about in life. A hobby is meant to be fun and relaxing. And it gives me some energy. I enjoy doing it. I play along with whatever music I'm currently into or listening [to]. I don't necessarily try to play the exact song or the exact beat. It's kind just a two-fold, relaxation, fun effect. I get to listen to the music I like and play along."
At times, Longoria has been joined by teammates like John Jaso as well as Rocco Baldelli, who is now the Rays' first-base coach. "It was fun when we had Jaso, because Jaso was a decent guitar player," Longoria said. "Him and sometimes Rocco, Rocco plays the bass. We'd get a little jam session going back there. It was never that great, but it was fun."
Through his pursuit and struggles to become a better drummer, Longoria has gained an appreciation for those who have mastered the instrument.
"After learning very basic things on the drums, you go to concerts and watch guys playing who are actually good at it -- just the tempo and the timing and movement of all your limbs all at once doing different things; you learn how tough it is and how much work it takes to get good at it," Longoria said. "Watching those guys and watching the other musicians while they're playing, you realize how tough it is to pick up those cues and do what you want with your hands and feet."
Longoria managed a smile when he surmised: "Like anything else, I can go back there and just bang away, but to actually be good, that's another story. I'm a baseball player." (Bill Chastain - MLB.com - July 21, 2016)
Evan is passionate about a cause, so he wants to call attention to the Pet Pal Animal Shelter in St. Petersburg. "It's the one thing that myself and Jaime, my wife, have been involved in for the past five years," Longoria said. "Outside of [the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute] and my involvement with the Rays on that, this is our own thing, with Pet Pal Animal Shelter.
"We love the fact that they're local and a non-profit and also a no-kill shelter. For those of us who have dogs, and cats, I don't have cats, I have two dogs, it's a great cause." (Chastain - MLB.com - 8/29/16)
In 2016, Evan was honored with the Don Zimmer Award, given to the most valuable Rays player; as well as the Paul C. Smith Champion Award, given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. The veteran third baseman has now won both awards twice.
Feb 17, 2017: The face of the franchise had a different face early in 2017 spring camp. Evan reported to Rays camp looking more like Paul Bunyan with a full-blown beard, admitting he ditched his razor shortly after saying goodbye to the 2016 season.
"I started growing it in November," Longoria said. "My wife likes it. She told me if I cut it when I got here, she'd be upset."
Is it time to fear the beard, then? "I'll probably keep it [unless I do poorly]," said Longoria.
That shouldn't be a problem for Longoria. This past season, the Rays' veteran shook off (by his standards) one of his worst years in 2015 with quite a bounce-back in '16. He belted a career-high 36 homers and drove in 98 runs, his most RBIs in five years. Longoria credits making adjustments at the plate, where he shortened up his swing, a change that carried over to his offseason routine.
"My swing has probably felt as good as it's ever felt coming into the spring," Longoria said. "The adjustments I made (in 2016) just really made it easier for me to set back to that spot." Longoria enters his 10th season, admitting it usually would take him a month and a half to find his groove.
But with his improved swing, he was confident enough to do "a lot" less hitting this offseason. His workout routine was highlighted by advice from friend and Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, who shifted Longoria's workouts to "lots of Pilates with my wife." (M Nabors - MLB.com - Feb 18, 2017)
Evan spends plenty of extra time in the training room to make sure his body is fit enough to take the field each day. He played at least 160 games in each of the 2013 2014, 2015, and 2016 seasons, and he'll end up with at least 155 in 2017 as well.
Sometimes that decision to play rather than sit and rest up can sap his offensive production. His .312 on-base percentage this season is the lowest of his career, for instance.
"I know in 2017, he's going to look back and say this wasn't maybe his strongest," Cash said. "But it's still a testament to him that he's grinding through it, he's out there, he plays through a bunch of injuries constantly. I'm glad he got [the home run] so now I can give him a day off tomorrow."
Teammate Logan Morrison echoed the sentiment that Longoria won't look at this as his best season, but pointed out the third baseman still leads the team in RBIs, with 85 now.
"And I think if you ask anybody in here, who do you want up with the game on the line, you want him," Morrison said. "He battles. And I don't think he's felt great at the plate all year long, but to be able to put the numbers he has put up, it's been pretty impressive … It doesn't matter what's hurting, what's ailing. He's going to play, and he's probably going to do some damage. Really impressive and definitely glad I got to play with him for two years." (Mount - mlb.com - 9/29/17)
The Giants have quickly learned what makes Evan a special performer in Spring Training 2018. He's dynamic with the bat, capable of consistently spraying line drives all over the field. And he's graceful with his glove, turning challenging plays into routine ones. (Haft - mlb.com - 3/25/18)
Question: What’s the biggest difference between the Rays and the Giants? "Other than the differences in the stadium, playing outdoors, [really just] a few more fans on a given night. But I think the expectations are the same. The organization expects you to go out and win. They do everything they can to assure you have the best chance to win. I think philosophically, they’re a little different. Although bringing in [Giants president of baseball operations] Farhan [Zaidi] this year, I think he leans a little more towards the analytical side. When I came over here last year, I think it was a little more traditional in terms of the shifts and information we had. I don’t really have a belief in one or the other, per se. There’s a lot to say that the numbers bar out in terms of defensive alignment and all the matchups and stuff. But I’ve always said, if you have good players, you can win no matter where you stand. But the Rays ... they’ve always been on the cutting edge of that. They’ve always been trendsetters in terms of what they do from an analytics standpoint, and I think [the Giants are] kind of heading in that direction as well.” (Juan Toribio-MLB.com-April 6, 2019)
May 19, 2019: Evan Longoria isn't secretly super into unicorns. But his daughter, Elle, can't get enough -- which gave Evan an idea: Why not let her and her brother, Nash, pick out his bat knob decals during the 2019 season?
Longoria had gone with custom knobs before (you may recall that his first team photo with the Giants accidentally showed off his old Rays decal). So he pulled some designs -- unicorns for Elle, Pokémon for Nash -- and let them run wild.
"My kids instantly love them," Longoria said in an interview with Cut4. "They took a whole sheet for themselves and they’ve been sticking them all over their own things at home." (MLB.com)
June 2006: The Devil Rays chose Evan in the first round (third overall), out of California State at Long Beach. His bonus was $3 million. Fred Repke is the scout who signed him.
April 18, 2008: Longoria and the Rays agreed to a six-year contract that could be worth as much as $44 million over nine seasons. It calls for $500,000 for 2008, $550,000 in 2009, $950,000 in 2010, and $2 million in 2011, a salary that would increase to $2.5 million if he is eligible for salary arbitration that year. He receives $4.5 million in 2012 and $6 million in 2013.
Tampa Bay has a $7.5 million option for 2014 with a $3 million buyout, with the buyout price increasing to $4 million if Longoria was eligible for arbitration in 2011. By November 2014, Evan must decide whether to exercise an option calling for salaries of $11 million in 2015 and $11.5 million in 2016. His 2016 salary can rise to $14 million, depending on his finish in MVP voting.
November 26, 2012: Evan and the Rays agreed to a $100 million contract extension that could keep him with Tampa Bay through the 2023 season. The deal maintains the terms of his contract through 2016, then tacks on six more years for the $100 million. The team has an option for 2023.
- December 20, 2017: The Giants sent INF Christian Arroyo, LHP Matt Krook, OF Denard Span and RHP Stephen Woods to the Rays, acquiring 3B Evan Longoria and cash (to the Giants).
|Birth City:||Downey, CA|
|Draft:||Devil Rays #1 - 2006 - Out of Calif. State-Long Beach|
Longoria lines shots with good power that comes from a smooth, effortless, loose righthanded swing, and quick hands and strong wrists that generate lots of bat speed. He hits some tape measure shots. He is an impact player because of his makeup and skills. And, his bat and his power both rate as 70 tools on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Evan never gets cheated at the plate. He consistently makes hard contact with an aggressive stroke. His power comes from leverage created by his quick hands and strong wrists. The leverage and finish he generates in his swing is something you just can't teach. He's aggressive in all counts and will chase breaking balls, especially sliders down and away, but he also displays patience. He has excellent hands that translate well both at the plate and in the field. Longoria's excellent bat speed gives him at least average power, and it allows him to let balls get deep and use the entire field.
Longoria exhibits outstanding patience at the plate and has impressive pitch recognition. He rarely misses a mistake pitch.
Longoria had a superb rookie season in 2008. Despite missing 30 games with a broken right wrist, he led Major League rookies with 27 homers and a .531 slugging percentage, while batting .272 and driving in 85 runs. He was chosen for the All-Star team and participated in the Home Run Derby.
On August 4, 2009, Longoria became the first Major Leaguer to hit two home runs and strike out four times in the same game since at least since 1954.
In his first three seasons—2008, 2009, and 2010—Evan slugged .531, .526, and .507. He is the only qualifying third baseman in history to have a slugging percentage above .500 in each of his first three seasons. And one of only 13 players (regardless of position) to do that.
June 20, 2013: Longoria hit his 500th career RBIs, and he reached the milestone faster than all but seven active players. Those to reach the mark in fewer games than Longoria's 710 are Ryan Howard (575), Albert Pujols (623), Todd Helton (651), Josh Hamilton (667), Mark Teixeira (694), Miguel Cabrera (697) and Justin Morneau (706).
Evan is a home run hitter. "Sometimes it's kind of baffling to me that I hit as many home runs as I do," Longoria said, "because I go into batting practice, and I don't hit any home runs. On a very rare basis, I may hit one or two, but I'm really one of those guys who needs the pitcher to supply the power.
"I definitely have the kind of swing where I have to be in a good rhythm and feel good at the plate to be able to hit home runs. I feel like there are some other guys, namely Chris Davis, who is just so strong that his swing may break down from time to time. But he hits some balls, and maybe mishits them, and hits the ball out of the ballpark. There's a lot of guys like that." Many of Longoria's home runs have been to the opposite field (in 2013), which he said is an indication of "when I'm at my best."
- In 2013, Longoria had his fifth 20-homer season in his first six years in the Major Leagues, which makes him just the sixth third baseman all time to record that many this quickly.
April 3, 2014: Longoria tied Carlos Pena for the Rays' career home run record at 163.
July 20, 2014: Evan claimed a piece of the Rays' record book when he passed former Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford for the club's career doubles record with 216 and tied Crawford's career RBI record at 592.
May 5, 2015: Longoria recorded career hit No. 1,000, to become the third player in team history to reach the milestone in a Rays uniform, joining Carl Crawford and Ben Zobrist. The hit came in Longoria's 986th game. Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson notched his 1,000th hit in his 989th game.
September 2, 2015: Evan cut loose with a mammoth homer giving him 200 for his career. Longoria enjoyed the blast so much that he added a second in the ninth, giving him his second multi-home run game of the season and the 15th of his career. By reaching 200 home runs, Longoria became the first third baseman to ever reach 200 home runs and 250 doubles in his first eight seasons.
Only 19 players all-time have reached those totals in their first eight seasons: Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Mark Teixeira , Albert Pujols , Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Braun.
Longoria also became the first player in Rays history to reach 200 home runs and is one of 11 active players who have hit 200 for their current teams: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington; David Ortiz, Boston; Ryan Howard, Philadelphia; Alex Rodriguez, New York; Cabrera, Detroit; Braun, Milwaukee; Jose Bautista, Toronto; David Wright, New York (NL); Torii Hunter, Minnesota; and Jay Bruce, Cincinnati.
September 16, 2016: Longoria is having a special season. He homered, giving him 34 for the season, establishing a new career high.
In addition to establishing a personal best, Longoria tied Jose Canseco (1999) for the single-season club record for home runs hit by a right-handed hitter. Carlos Pena holds the Rays record for home runs, with 46 in 2007. Pena ranks second on the list, too, after hitting 39 in 2009. Longoria tied Aubrey Huff (34 in 2003) for third place.Longoria now has 19 career home runs at Camden Yards.
Only three visiting players have hit more in the ballpark's 25-year history: Alex Rodriguez (34), David Ortiz (28), and Johnny Damon (22).Of Longoria's 34 career home runs against the Orioles, 33 have come while playing third base, giving him the most home runs all time by a third baseman against the O's.(Bill Chastain - MLB.com)
August 2, 2017: Longoria became the second player in Rays team history to hit for the cycle.
September 29, 2017: Evan celebrated a milestone in the 7-0 win over the Orioles, connecting on his 20th home run to put him in historic company.
Longoria reached 20 home runs for the ninth time in his first 10 seasons. Previously, only one third baseman had ever started his career in such an impressive manner: Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, who eclipsed the mark in his first 14 years. The only American League third baseman to hit 20 homers nine times in his entire career was Graig Nettles.
"Special player, that basically sums it up," manager Kevin Cash said. "Longoria does it on the offensive side, defensive side, in the clubhouse. We're fortunate to have him."
Teammate Logan Morrison said he feels the same way. "Even for a guy like myself, he's somebody to look up to, just the way he goes about his business, day in and day out," Morrison said. (Mount - mlb.com)
- May 5, 2018: Evan picked up his 1,500th career hit in an 11-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park. He hit an RBI double off Braves righty Brandon McCarthy in the top of the third inning on a softly hit ball that got past a diving Nick Markakis in right field. The milestone comes three years to the day since Longoria got his 1,000th hit, as a member of the Rays. (Sachs - mlb.com)
As of the start of the 2019 season, Longoria's career Major League stats were: .268 batting average, 277 home runs and 1,588 hits with 946 RBI in 5,930 at-bats.
Longoria has good, soft hands and a strong arm, but isn't quick enough to play shortstop full-time in the Majors. He is better at second base or third base.
Evan is very solid defensively at third base with plenty of arm strength. His throws have good carry and are accurate. He has very good body control. And his footwork is very good.
The late Don Zimmer, who watched more baseball than anyone ever, probably, said in 2009 that Longoria is the best defensive third baseman he had ever seen.
Evan displays body control on slow rollers and he has soft hands.
Evan shows the ability to make big plays, and a knack for doing them at key times.
"Certain players have an ability to slow the game down as the game pressure intensifies, and Evan is definitely one of those players," Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "Our scouts noted that about him as an amateur, and we have seen it repeatedly with him as a pro."
After the 2009 season, Longoria was awarded his first Gold Glove.
And he was a repeat winner in 2010, receiving his second Gold Glove.
In 2017, Evan won his third AL Rawlings Gold Glove for third base. He became the first Rays player to win three Gold Glove awards.
Evan spends time during infield practice fielding balls from his knees. Why?
"The idea is to use my hands. You can't move your feet in that position," Longoria said. "Normally when fielding ground balls, you use your feet to field the ground ball. You don't use your hands as much and so I use that drill to train my hands."
Speed is Longoria's worst tool. He has average speed. But his fine baseball instincts are impressive even on the bases.
- In 2010, he stole 15 bases in 20 tries.
August 8-September 6, 2008: Longoria went on the D.L. after being hit on his right wrist during a game. Although initial X-rays taken after the game were deemed negative, the rookie's right wrist was said to be fractured after a second opinion by team hand specialist Dr. Doug Carlan in St. Petersburg.
- June 2, 2009: Evan sustained a left hamstring injury while running out a groundout and was day-to-day.
September 24, 2010: Longoria missed several games with a left quadriceps strain he suffered while starting a double play vs. the Yankees. An MRI revealed no tears.
- April 3-May 2, 2011: Evan was on the D.L. with a strained muscle in his left side.
May 2-August 7, 2012: Longoria was on the D.L. with a partially torn left hamstring. He was injured the night before while running to second base on an attempted steal. He slid into the bag and remained on the ground for a moment before climbing to his feet and walking to the dugout without assistance.
June 15, 2018: Evan was on the DL with a fracture of the fifth metacarpal in his left hand.
June 19-July 26, 2018 : Longoria underwent surgery on his fractured left hand. He could miss 6-8 weeks.
- July 15-Aug 4, 2019: Evan was on the IL with left foot plantar fasciitis.