Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado Among Baseball’s Top Third Basemen

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Evan Longoria
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria

Preseason prediction: 3rd, Evan Longoria, Rickie Shafer, Nick Franklin

As I looked at the numbers, I was astounded at the numbers I saw for Evan Longoria. Who knew he had such a strong year?

Longoria hit .273/.318/.521 with 36 HR, 41 2Bs, 98 RBIs, 81 runs. That was the most home runs Longoria has EVER hit in his career. And the doubles are the most since his first three seasons during his All-Star years. Make no mistake; Longoria is still a star. But on an offense that struggles and behind Donaldson and Machado, he is completely overshadowed.

Longoria had an oWAR of 4.8, but he had the lowest dWAR (-0.6) of his career. Personally, I’m not buying it. Longoria continued to be a force at third base, stopping most balls hit his way. However, his range also fell below league average, so it is possible that his defense is starting to suffer as he ages.

However, the eight-year veteran continues to be one of the best third basemen in not just the AL, but all of baseball.