San Francisco Giants: Some Perspective on Evan Longoria
By Daniel Sperry
Most San Francisco Giants haven’t been all too impressed with Evan Longoria so far. Most see the large contract left, look at his stat-line, and scoff. Let’s look at some past history with the Giants and decorated third baseman.
Evan Longoria’s start to his San Francisco Giants tenure has gotten off to a rocky start. It has most Giants fans up in arms, and plenty calling for Pablo Sandoval. Let’s look at some numbers here. Compare these first two lines:
- .149/.167/.277/.443; HR, 3 RBI, 16K’s, BB; 23 OPS+, wRC+ of 20
- .173/.244/.273/.517; 2HR, 5 RBI; 37 OPS+, wRC+ of 35
That top line is Evan Longoria’s, the bottom was what Ryder Jones did in 150 at-bats. That’s gotta be concerning. Now look at this line:
- .177/.262/.302/.564; 2HR, 6 RBI, 22 K’s, 11 BB; wRC+ OF 62
That line is slightly better than Longoria’s, but that was over an entire month. If I told you that the person who had that line in the opening month of their season, went on to hit .300 plus in every month of the remaining season, and hit .360 plus in the postseason, would you believe me? Well you should, because that was Pablo Sandoval’s first month of the 2014 season.
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The Giants haven’t had significant production at third base since Pablo Sandoval’s 2014 season. You obviously got a good season out of Matt Duffy in 2015, but with his injuries and all that, it’s pretty clear he wouldn’t have replicated that in ’16 and ’17.
Longoria is going to be a practice in patience for Giants twitter, who has reacted to his slow start to the season in its patented, hysteria based form. I get it. It’s frustrating. He was brought in to be a key cog in the lineup. He’s failing at that so far. It’s understandable to be frustrated at that. But let’s all take a collective chill pill before we right him off as a bust.
I went back to the Google Archives to find one article written about Pablo Sandoval’s struggles. There was one, from the Bay Area Focused site within the FanSided Network, Golden Gate Sports. Go read that, and come back.
Ok, welcome back. A measured take right? It was the only take on Sandoval’s struggles in the early month of the season. But of course, Twitter was there for the logical and reasonable takes then as well, right?
A little much. Roy Hibbert was super tall, Pablo wasn’t. Weird comparison as Hibbert was an All-Star that year.
I’m really glad he didn’t get his wish.
That sounds familiar!
Ahhh and look at whoever was running our Twitter account back then. Love it.
Granted, Pablo proved NOT to be worth that much after that year. But man. All that hate, and nobody was granted the future vision to see him catch the final out for the franchises’ third World Series win in five seasons.
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Look, I’m not saying we should be happy with Longoria, nor am I saying he’s going to hit nearly .400 in the postseason and catch the final out in the Giants fourth title in San Francisco. It would be super cool. But I’ll leave the predictions like that up to Andrea Mallis.
What am I saying? Give Longoria some time. Stop jumping to conclusions on a player and their season in April. We’ve played 8% of the baseball season so far and we’ve got a long ways to go here. And for a guy with a track record like Longoria, he’ll likely turn it around.
And then when he does, everyone will be singing his praises again. Oh yeah, and when we revisit this same storyline the next time the Giants are breaking in a new third-baseman and they struggle, we’ll go back and search Twitter for all tweets from 2018 containing “Evan Longoria” and use his awful start as a “Chill out” comparison for the next guy.
So it’s ok to be frustrated by Evan Longoria’s start. It’s not ok to make hasty generalizations based on a 13 game sample size. But then again, there’s only so much I can tell Twitter to not be Twitter. It’s Twitter. It will always be Twitter. And common sense is never the prevailing theme on Twitter. But I digress.
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Let’s have some common sense here. Give Longoria some time. His career has proven he deserves more time, and much more patience afforded to him. And past happenings have proved the Giants fans should have much more patience when proven players struggle early.