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Evan Longoria Arrives

Top third base prospect Evan Longoria is up in the bigs, and probably to stay.  So much for the Rays' cost-saving plan.   Other third base prospects like Andy LaRoche, Chase Headley, and Neil Walker may spend time in the Majors this year, but Longoria is easily the best of the four.

Longoria is as close to a sure thing as a prospect gets (although we said that about Alex Gordon a year ago probably).  The 22 year-old Longoria started slow in Durham, for what it's worth. He hit .262/.407/.595 with three homers and two steals in 42 spring ABs.

Assuming all third basemen will receive 500 additional ABs this year (for the sake of comparison), I have Longoria ranked 11th (after Ryan Zimmerman and before Mark Reynolds).  For the 500 ABs I have Longoria at .270-23-81-83-4. 

Though I have Longoria technically outranking Reynolds, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Alex Gordon, and Adrian Beltre, I wouldn't drop/trade any of them to accomodate him. These four are all off to decent-to-great starts and have a big league track record.  And some of them can steal bases.  I am on the fence with Edwin Encarnacion - I like him more than Longoria this year, but I'm not sure if Dusty will let him play through his slump.  Hank Blalock is another borderline call; I'd probably stick with him.

Here are some third basemen I would drop/trade to accomodate Longoria: Josh Fields, Troy GlausTy Wigginton, Mike Lowell, Scott Rolen, Casey Blake, and Melvin Mora.  You probably didn't need me to tell you most of those.  Aubrey Huff and Joe Crede give me pause, but...yes, I'd cut them for Longoria.  An arguable suggestion given their strong starts, but hey, that's my opinion. 

I'd also move the following first baseman to use Longoria in my CI slot: Joey Votto, Jason Giambi, Adam LaRoche, Kevin Youkilis, Casey Kotchman, and Richie Sexson.

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