Tampa Bay Rays 1st Round Draft Pick – Evan Longoria
Yes, the greatest Tampa Bay Ray of all time is also the best overall player to be drafted in the first round. Evan Longoria was taken as the third overall pick of the 2006 MLB Draft out of California State University. He made his debut on April 12, 2008 at the age of 22 and led the charge for the incredible World Series run.
He made the All-Star team, won Rookie of the Year, and finished 11th in MVP voting that season. In 122 games he blasted 31 doubles, 27 homers, 85 RBI, and even swiped seven bags without getting caught. He played stellar defense and set the stage for greatness to come.
Longoria has already racked up 56 career rWAR, accounting for roughly 1/3 of all the rWAR on this list. Like David Price, he is still only 34 and is coming off of a pretty solid season for the San Francisco Giants.
Longo holds several Rays all-time records, including career WAR, offensive WAR, total games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, total base hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, sacrifice flies, intentional walks, and more.
He’s a three-time All-Star, owns three Gold Gloves, a Silver Slugger Award, and the previously mentioned Rookie of the Year Award.
Longoria holds the honor of receiving the largest contract extension in team history. He;’s the greatest Ray to every play and he’s the greatest first-round draft pick ever made by Tampa Bay.
He owns a career OPS+ of 121 and after suffering his first two seasons below 100 in 2017 and 2018, he was able to bounce back above 100 last season as he looks to make his case for the Hall of Fame as he enters his age-34 season.