3. Tampa Bay Rays
When you think of the Tampa Bay Rays, you think of good young pitching and Evan Longoria. Longoria has been a fixture for the Rays and is one player that the other team hates to see come to town because he is so strong defensively and offensively.
Longoria powered his way in 2016 to a line of .273/.318/.521 with 36 HRs, 41 2Bs, 98 RBIs and 81 runs. The average was right on par with his career average of .271, with the OBP below his career average, but the slugging percentage above.
Longoria is another player who metrics rates negatively that just doesn’t pass the eye test. In 2016 he had a negative dWAR (-0.6), his range was below league average, and his total fielding runs above average was only 4. I’m not buying it. I know that I want the Orioles to hit the ball anywhere else.
Longoria often doesn’t get the same publicity as other offensive stars, and it may have to do with the fact that he is only one person on a perennially offensive-weak team. But, he continues to be an excellent player for Tampa.
Franklin is going to be the Rays’ utility player, with Robertson being a top prospect and possibly a future starter for Tampa. In fact, with Longoria signed through 2022 at almost 10 million a year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Longoria gets traded this summer.