Evan Longoria was deemed the savior of the Tampa Bay Rays, much like Jay Bruce is being coined in Cincinnati. Longoria was supposed to be the starting 3rd basemen at the start of the season, but the team wanted to give him a month in the minors to ease him into the league. They saw Longoria as more of a Ryan Bruan-type talent that needed a month in the minors to sharpen up before making his major league debut. This was a smart idea, since the Kansas City Royals had a similar scenario last season with their prospect, Alex Gordon. He ended up struggling his first two months in the Majors, but ended up turning it on towards the end of the season.
Evan Longora was finally brought up the majors in mid-April with much fanfare. He started out hot, but cooled down in May. He has been a monster in June, he has hit over half of his 15 homers so far this month. He has been extraordinarily hot over the past week. He has hit 4 homers, driven in 12 runs and batting .448. Some would suspect that his hot streak is due to inter-league play, but I think it should carry on throughout the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay is off to its best start in franchise history (48-32) and are in contention for both the AL East crown or the Wild-Card spot this season. Longoria, Carl Crawford, Scott Kazmir, and B.J. Upton arer the thank for their surprisingly great start. If Carlos Pena ever gets back his power stroke and they somehow get Rocco Baldelli back healthy, this team will not only be playoff-worthy this season, but the nucleus is young and should be great for years.
If you have Longoria on any of your fantasy teams, hold on to him. If you are in a keeper league, I would keep him for years to come. I look for Longoria to hit around 33 homers and have around 108 RBI. He is currently hittin .254, but look for a spike in his average once he figures out better pitching. Longoria should end up with a .286 average, give or take a few points.
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