Third baseman Evan Longoria, the No. 3 overall pick in 2006, has reached Triple-A just shy of 14 months after signing with the Devil Rays. He joins Luke Hochevar, Brandon Morrow, Andrew Miller, Tim Lincecum and Ian Kennedy as other first-round picks from that draft to play at the Triple-A level’"or above.
The 21-year-old Longoria batted .307/.403/.528 in 381 at-bats for Double-A Montgomery, with Southern League-leading totals of 21 home runs, 76 RBIs and 78 runs scored.
Even in a year with multiple strong Minor League Player of the Year candidates’"including Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Clay Buchholz and Kennedy‘"Longoria might have the strongest case of all. Not only did he demolish Double-A pitching in one of the toughest offensive environments in the minors, he also led all SL third basemen with 200 assists (to go with a .963 fielding percentage) at the time of his promotion.
If Longoria keeps up the pace with Durham, and if he wins our Player of the Year, he will be the third Bull in the past six years to do so, joining Rocco Baldelli (2002) and Delmon Young (2005).