Evan Longoria (2008-present)
Before Evan Longoria, six players wore the number 3 for the Tampa Bay Rays, including three in 2003. When he retires, no one else will wear that number for the franchise.
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The unquestioned face of the franchise, and the best player in team history, Longoria has become the Rays. The team leader in virtually every offensive category, and the leader in the clubhouse, Longoria is the one player that remains from the World Series year.
A three time All Star, two time Gold Glove winner, and the 2008 Rookie of the Year, Longoria still does not get the credit he deserves nationally. Thus far for the Rays, he has produced a .270/.343/.487 batting line, hitting 250 homers and driving in 840 runs. Within the next couple of years, Longoria should reach the 300 home run and 1000 RBI plateaus.
He has also proven to be an excellent defensive presence at third. Over his career, Longoria has saved 92 runs at third, the 13th most in MLB history. He has led the league in runs saved twice, and despite his foot issues, is leading the American League in that category once again this season. Perhaps a third Gold Glove will be in order for the Rays third baseman.
There is no question that Even Longoria will have his number retired by the Tampa Bay Rays. The only question is, how long after he retires will it be?