The 2016 season for the Tampa Bay Rays began with such promise. People who work for the team in the front office thought the Rays had a legitimate chance of at least contending for a wild card this year. However, that has not been the case. The season has been a complete disaster from the very beginning. Inconsistent hitting and pitching have plagued the team all year. The bright spots have been very few and far between. However, there have been a few things for Rays fans to cheer about. One of these bright spots has been another great season from All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria.
Evan Longoria has been a superstar since the first time he set foot on the field in a Rays uniform. He was a top pick who has lived up to all of the lofty expectations the team had for him. In fact, he has exceeded those expectations in many ways. He has become one of the game’s great all-around players. A slugger who can hit homers and drive in runs. He also has a knack for getting clutch hits in big spots. However, his hitting prowess is not the only thing that Longoria has going for him. He is also regarded as one of the best defensive third baseman in the game today. He has twice been awarded a Gold Glove for his outstanding defense.
Longoria entered the 2016 season with some statistical goals in mind. He feels that setting personal goals is a great way to motivate himself. This philosophy has definitely worked for him this season. He has crushed 31 home runs so far and there is still a full month to go in the season. This is only two home runs short of the 33 home runs he hit during his second season back in 2009. Longoria believes that a new weight training program is responsible for the increased power he has displayed in 2016.
Another goal that the 30-year-old third baseman has this season is to play at least 160 games for the fourth consecutive season. He is on pace to accomplish this goal because he has already played 130 games entering the season’s final month. Evan Longoria has been one of the game’s most consistent players. He shows no signs of slowing down.