2011 Rays Projections: Evan Longoria
Last in my running posts of position player predictions, and definitely not least, is All-Star and face-of-the-franchise Evan Longoria. In all honesty, Longoria was a little harder to predict than some. Sure, he’s going to be an All-Star again and contend for the AL MVP award, but what made it hard was the fact that he has some trending numbers.
In each of his first three seasons in the Majors Longoria has seen an increase in AVG, OBP, and wRC+ which coincided with his increase in BABIP each season and his increase in BB and decrease in K rates each season. The odd part is that his SLG has decreased in each of those three seasons along with his ISO and HR/FB rates even though his FB rate has increased. Very odd that he has had so many stats increase and decrease in each of his only three seasons.
What makes it hard is that if you follow the trends you get some weird numbers. Do you buck the trends and change some calculations or go with the trends? I bucked the trends. There is no way they all continue in one direction. But I can see some of them, especially the AVG and OBP going in that same direction. His wOBA in those three seasons has been consistent; ranging from .373-.380 so that is a good sign of his consistent productivity.
With that, here is what I came up with:
Lofty projections but, again, this is not a “breakout candidate”, this is Evan Longoria. A player with 19.6 career fWAR and 18.0 career rWAR in only three seasons. I could even see Longoria posting even better numbers, especially on defense. A lot of the Rays’ success is dependant on Longoria carrying the team and I, and the numbers, have little doubt that he will fail.