2011 Fantasy Projections, No. 7: How Will Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria Fare Without Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena?
Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
2010 saw Evan Longoria post the lowest home run total of his career (22), while his slugging percentage dropped for the third consecutive season. During the off-season, the guys who hit in front of (Carl Crawford) and behind (Carlos Pena) Longoria last season signed with the Red Sox and Cubs, respectively.
Looking forward to 2011, it’s any one’s guess as to who will fill the holes left in the Rays’ lineup. While these factors may scare off some fantasy managers, it’s important to understand how good Longoria has been in his first three seasons in the majors. Despite missing 40 games in his 2008 rookie season while the Rays delayed his arbitration clock, the California native has posted career averages of 88 runs, 27 HRs, 101 RBI, 10 steals and a .283 batting average, placing him in elite company at the very thin third base position.
Despite the seemingly “down” year in 2010, Longoria has made significant strides in certain areas of his game over his first three seasons:
- 2008: 9.1%
- 2009: 10.7%
- 2010: 10.9%
- 2008: 27.2%
- 2009 24.0%
- 2010: 21.6%
- 2008: .272
- 2009: .281
- 2010: .294
When Longoria’s doubles (46 in 2010, tied for second most in the majors) start flying over the fence again, top-10 production will surely ensue. Entering his age 25 season, that time is likely now. Given his lack of protection in the lineup, Longoria is likely to see his walk rate increase for the fourth consecutive season. This will presumably lead to less RBI opportunities, dropping Longoria to number two among our third base rankings.
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Image courtesy of: Chris Creamer, Sportslogos.net
Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:
- No. 1: Albert Pujols
- No. 2: Hanley Ramirez
- No. 3: Miguel Cabrera
- No. 4: Troy Tulowitzki
- No. 5: Adrian Gonzalez
- No. 6: David Wright
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- 2011 Projections: Adrian Beltre
- The Sub-2.50 ERA Curse: Why Five Elite Starting Pitchers May Regress in 2011
- 2010 Batting Average on Balls in Play Leaders: What to Expect in 2011?
- 2011 Closer’s Corner: Papelbon, Cordero & Rivera Are the Only Reliable Options
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Tags: Evan Longoria