Third Base: No. 3, Evan Longoria
There's very little that The Jameus of FanSided can write about Evan Longoria's legacy with the Rays that hasn't been pontificated about elsewhere. So, we'll save the long-winded 'Mr. Ray' speech. Simply put, the first time the team contended coincided with the year that Evan Longoria won Rookie of the Year and took the Rays to the World Series. Their 2011 playoff berth is most remembered by arguably the most iconic home run in Rays history, an extra-inning walk-off against Scott Proctor and the Yankees that just cleared the porch in the left field corner of Tropicana Field. For ten exciting years, Evan was a staple in the No. 3 hole of the lineup.
When Down and Out by Tantric came up to the plate, Tropicana Field would electrify with the flip of a switch. He was a superstar by every tangible measurement, even in seasons where his statistics weren't exactly up to par. However, in his three All-Star seasons from 2008-2010, he drove in 300 runs, hit 82 home runs and slashed a robust .283/.361/.521 to complement defense that would win him three Gold Gloves in his Rays tenure at the hot corner.
Though injuries have caught up to him, the now-Arizona Diamondback still seems to be on a potential Hall of Fame pace with one or two solid seasons left, albeit most likely via a committee nod if elected. Among players with at least 315 home runs, 1,800 hits, 50 career WAR and an .800 OPS, there are eight players to play at least 50% of their games at third base. Amongst those eight are six Hall of Famers (Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Chipper Jones, Scott Rolen, Ron Santo, George Brett) as well as Adrian Beltre, who could potentially be the first position player to garner 100% of the vote next year. The only active third baseman to have accumulated those numbers? Evan Longoria.
Longoria was the easiest pick for this exercise. He's number one in franchise history in just about every major category: games played, home runs, WAR, RBI, walks, doubles, runs created, et. al. In 2017, he became only the second Ray to hit for the cycle. The best third baseman to wear a Rays uniform is Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, but the best third baseman during their run with the ballclub is inarguably Evan. He is the most memorable Ray, even despite issues in the later years caused by plantar fasciitis.