Evan Longoria Interview

July 20, 2007
Selected third overall by the Devil Rays in the 2006 draft, Evan Longoria has gone from undrafted high schooler who chose to go to community college to standout Division-I ball player to elite professional prospect.

After putting up solid power totals in Long Beach State's spacious Blair Field, he is showing the kind of power that will allow his bat to fit in well at third base 36 home runs in 581 pro at-bats.

Longoria is batting .299/.400/.513 with 18 home runs and 47 walks versus 68 strikeouts in Double-A Montgomery. He ranked No. 8 in our most recent Top 25 Prospect Rankings.

Adam Foster: Were you motivated by being a part of a college draft class that didn’t have a ton of hitters who were considered elite?

Evan Longoria: Yeah, it was good for me I guess to be in that draft class. But at the same time there were so many good pitchers in the draft that I still had to work hard and do what I knew how to do.

Foster: What kind of hitter would you describe yourself as?

Longoria: I like to think of myself...probably one word would be disciplined. But I guess I gotta hit for power because I’m a third baseman.

Foster: It’s pretty tough to hit a ball out of Long Beach State's Blair Field. Were you confident that you could prove your power critics wrong once you moved into a more favorable hitting environment?

Longoria: Yeah, but I think all the scouts knew that that place was pretty tough to hit at. I just needed a chance to get out of there and, like you said, hit somewhere else that was more favorable for hitters.

Foster: You’re batting more than 100 points higher at home than on the road. Is there anything to that besides the fact that it’s from a small sample of at-bats?

Longoria: I think everybody likes to hit at home better than on the road. The fans help out a lot...just being in Montgomery – it’s a great place to play. The fans are so supportive; it just makes it an easier place to play.

Foster: How have you prepared for the every-day grind of full-season, professional baseball?

Longoria: I’ve just kind of learned as I go...talked to guys who have been playing full-season for a couple of years. Just try to get myself ready every day...whatever I feel like I need to do.

Foster: What’s harder: the mental or physical demands of the game?

Longoria: It’s not too tough physically. I think more mentally...getting yourself prepared and trying to learn what you need to do every day.

Foster: How would you compare your comfort level in Double-A this year to last year?

Longoria: Oh, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable. And because I’ve played with all the guys that are there now – I played with all of them last year in Visalia – so we’re all real comfortable with each other.

Foster: So many ball players say they’ve had playing professionally on their mind since Little League. When did you realize that professional ball could be for you?

Longoria: I think once I signed at Long Beach and got an opportunity to play at a pretty decent Division-I school. I thought at that point I had a pretty good chance to play some pro ball.

Foster: When you update your buddies from high school and community college about how your pro career is going, what kind of conversations do you have?

Longoria: If I’m doing good, I tell them the same. But I don’t really like to talk to baseball off the field. So we talk (about baseball) for just a little bit, but after that it’s all fun and games.

Adam Foster can be reached at adamwfoster@gmail.com.