Results tagged ‘ Gold Glove ’
His defensive instincts and cat-like reflexes have more than a few folks around the game of baseball comparing him to the first “human vacuum” and Baseball Hall of Fame member Brooks Robinson. Even more remark how his bat is still young and could develop into am modern day Mike Schmidt at the plate in less than a few years. With such high praise as this surrounding his name, it is no wonder we are celebrating him this afternoon.
For about two minutes ago the official announcement came forth that Tampa Bay Rays Third Baseman Evan Longoria has won his second Rawlings Gold Glove Award in two seasons….and rightfully so. The young Rays corner infielder might just be starting a trend of dominating at the “Hot Corner” for a long, long time.
Amazing how three years ago this same former “Dirtbag” came up after an injury to Willy Aybar and since that moment has been the most solid member of the Rays revamped defensive core. All that while still learning his craft at the plate and beginning to show a level of play much needed within the confines of his small marketplace. Today Longoria doesn’t have to worry anymore about who stole his cap, a fans will rightfully take his own off his head and offer it to the Rays slugger.
It really doesn’t seem like only three years when Longoria posted up just in front of the Field Turf of Tropicana Field for his first professional start against on Saturday, April 12,2008 against the Baltimore Orioles. Ironically Longoria went 1 for 3 during his Major League debut with a RBI. That was the start of the long awaited Longo phenomenon in Tampa Bay. He did not win a Gold Glove in his rookie season, but he did show the signs of brilliance and agility needed that has blossomed over his past two Rays season at the corner.
In his second season with the Rays in 2009, Longoria only committed 13 errors in 427 total chances and contributed in 43 double play opportunities for the Rays. Remarkably, Longoria has fewer errors in his rookie season (12) but only helped produce 26 double play chances in his 119 games at Third base and one lone start at shortstop for the team. But the firm foundation established by Longoria during his rookie season only helped ferment and illustrate his value to the Rays overall cloak of defense in 2009.
Amazingly in 2010, Longoria hit a career high in errors with 13, but also provided more than a few web gem defensive moment on attempted bunts down the Third Baseline. It became almost trademark in 2010 for Longoria to take a ball barehanded and get the runner with a step or two to spare. His defensive game had elevated itself, and the rest of the baseball world noticed.
In 2010 Longoria set personal highs in innings played (1330.2), putouts (127) and watched his double play number soar even higher (46). I see no stopping or diminishing of Longoria’s defensive abilities for a long time. Longoria might even have a legitimate chance to one day try and match the totals number of Rawlings Gold Gloves by Schmidt (10 ) and Robinson (16)
As the musical group Timbuktu once said in a song lyric “Futures so bright I have to wear shades”. Only problem with that is the image of Longoria behind a pair of mirror shades just hoping you hit it down the line at him so he can rob you of that extra base hit and just give you a smile as you jog back to the bench. I got Longoria to sign a ball for me the day of his MLB debut, and ever since then not only has the ball gained in value, but Longoria’s defensive game has just been…well, Golden.
Really? You want extra incentive. You want something else for your attendance, then I got just the thing for you. On Monday, the Rays will also be giving out to the first 10,000 fans in Rays gear a Special Limited Edition Evan Longoria Gold Glove figurine. You heard me right, the Rays will award you for you attendance this Monday by giving you and your Rays gear a figurine commemorating Longo’s 2009 Gold Glove Award.
And with an expected announcement on Sunday that Longoria will also have a starting spot at Third Base for the American League All-Stars, this is just extra sugary icing on the cake for Rays fans. It is like one of those special 2-for1 deals we see at the supermarket. We get a great baseball game that could decide a spot in the standings, plus get a chance to help celebrate Longoria’s 2009 Gold Glove Award at the same time. Can you say a double dose of cowbell for this one!
Carlos Pena of the Tampa Bay Rays has always had a knack for being as good defensively as he was with his bat. In recent years he has improved both at the plate and at first base. Finally during the Rays golden season, Carlos Pena has been awarded the Gold Glove at First Base for 2008.
This season the Rays surrendered less runs than ever before in their exsistance. And at the head of all that was the improved defense in the infield for the Rays. But the defense was anchored by the increased play of Pena at first base in his attempts to snag, block or even leap to get any ball thrown within his reach.
In winning the award, he became the first Rays player in history to win a Gold Glove. Last season he was the first Ray to ever win the Comeback Player of the Year award from Major League Baseball. But this award is icing on the Ray’s first baseman’s cake after a playoff run and the first winning season in franchise history.
Pena posted a .998 fielding percentage this season for the Rays and only committed 2 errors all year. One of those errors was a throwing error trying to set up a double play late in the season and he overthrew Jason Bartlett at second base.
The Rays went from last in th majors last season with 944 run allowed to a total of only 664 runs allowed in 2008. That was good enough to rank 3rd in the majors for the 2008 season. the teams’ Fielding Percentage also rose from .980, which was ranked 27th in the majors last season, to .985 to improve only .05 percent, but tied for 8th in the league in 2008.