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Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: EVAN LONGORIA/DAVID WRIGHT

It is now time for another 2014 fantasy baseball draft debate as we once again try to break though the murkiness when evaluating similar players at the same position.  Today we delve into the world of the third baseman and take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria and the New York Mets' David Wright.  Both men are universally considered the next tier behind Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre and both have very similar skills sets that make them close in ability.  With that said let's compare the two in the five standard league ROTO categories to see who will come out on top.

AVERAGE:  Wright is a career .301 hitter while Longoria checks in at .275.  When one goes back to just last season, Wright comes out on top again with a .307 mark to Longoria's .269.  The biggest difference between the two is the fact that Longoria has the higher strikeout rate by a decent margin.  Wright has had some poor strikeouts seasons himself the last few years but he fixed the holes in his swing last season and has a very solid rate.  Wright takes this one without any debate.
ADVANTAGE:  David Wright

RUNS:  This one requires looking at career numbers instead of just last season as Wright spent some time on the DL and picked up only 430 at-bats to Longoria's 614 so the runs differential can be blamed on the added games the latter had.  When looking at career totals, Wright has score 90 or more runs 5 times in 10 seasons while Longoria has crossed that threshold 3 times in 6 seasons.  A dead here there based on percentages since both guys hit the 90 run mark in half of the seasons in the game.  However Longoria has done it two of the last four years while Wright has done it only once in the last five. 
ADVANTAGE:  Evan Longoria

HOME RUNS:  While Wright is no slouch with the home run ball, Longoria has the better overall power.  Longoria has cleared 30 home runs twice in the last three seasons while Wright has not done it since 2008. 
ADVANTAGE:  Evan Longoria

STEALS:  This is a Wright specialty at third base where stolen bases are very tough to come by.  While Wright's days of stealing 25 or more bags are likely finished, he was actually on pace to have 24 last season if he didn't get injured.  Longoria meanwhile has shown little interest in running the last few seasons with only 6 steals combined in his last three campaigns.
ADVANTAGE:  David Wright

RBI:  This one is really close as Wright had 93 RBI his last full season in 2012 while Longoria has only 88 in 2013 despite all those home runs.  This one is very tough to call but with Longoria having the better home run swing, he should be in a slightly better position to win this.
ADVANTAGE:  Evan Longoria

WINNER:  Evan Longoria

The initial assumption for most before even reading this was that Longoria was the easy choice but as you can see this was a very close debate.  Longoria has been overrated for a few seasons now.  This is a guy who doesn't steal bases anymore and puts up a shaky average.  However Longoria took the overall debate by a small margin and should be the third choice at this spot after the two big guns are off the board.

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