Back in 2005, Evan Longoria was in his first season at Long Beach State after transferring from Rio Hondo Community College in California. He had high aspirations for his baseball career but still had everything to prove. After arriving on campus, he had the perfect teammate to model himself after: junior Troy Tulowitzki. Longoria played third base with Tulowitzki at shortstop, batted behind Tulowitzki in the Dirtbags’ lineup, and was the team’s second best hitter, posting a .320/.368/.421 line with 5 home runs compared to Tulowitzki’s .349/.431/.599 line with 8 home runs. Tulowitzki left Long Beach State following the season after getting drafted by the Colorado Rockies with the 7th overall pick in 2005 draft. Longoria put up big numbers of his own in 2006, posting a .353/.468/.602 line with 11 home runs reminiscent of Tulowitzki’s numbers in his final season, and the Rays selected him at 3rd overall in the 2006 draft. Tulowitzki made his major league debut in 2006 and had his first full year as a regular in 2007, posting a .291/.359/.479 line for the Rockies with 24 homers and 99 RBI, finishing second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting to Ryan Braun and being a huge part of the 2007 Rockies team that made an improbable run to the World Series. The next season, Longoria posted a .272/.343/.531 line with 27 homers and 85 RBI on his way to the AL Rookie of the Year and helped lead the Rays on their improbable World Series run of 2008. That parallel is too perfect to be pure coincidence.
The parallels between Tulowitzki and Longoria go on and on- both missed significant time with injuries suffered in May of 2012, severely handicapping their teams- but the most staggering thing right now is their career numbers. Tulowitzki has a .292/.364/.504 career line- Longoria is at .276/.361/.516. Tulowitzki’s career OPS is .868- Longoria’s is .877. That’s not so crazy. This is. Troy Tulowitzki has 130 career home runs. Evan Longoria has the same number after his 3-homer game in the Rays’ final game of 2012. Tulowitzki has 160 career doubles- Longoria has 161. Who’s the better player, Tulowitzki or Longoria? That’s up for debate. But it’s amazing how Longoria continues parallel his Long Beach State teammate Tulowitzki, and only time will tell how their careers will compare when it’s all said and done.