Red Sox: Should Dustin Pedroia win the Final Vote?

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Jul 5, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) singles during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) singles during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 4: Evan Longoria

Longoria is last in fan voting, which may be partially due to playing for the small market Tampa Bay Rays. He shouldn’t be last, but I can’t put him any higher than this either.

The 30-year old third baseman is hitting .280 with an .843 OPS, but those numbers are a bit understated thanks to the pitcher-friendly confines he calls home. His 126 OPS+ (a stat adjusted for league and park effects) ranks 22nd in the league and 5th among third basemen.

He also hits in the middle of the lowest scoring team in the league, limiting his counting stats. We certainly can’t hold it against him that his team is incapable of assembling a productive lineup around him.

Then again, without any  protection in the lineup, it’s a wonder that teams don’t pitch around him more. Longoria has drawn only 25 walks this season, putting him outside the top 50 in the league. His 7.0 BB% would be a career low, continuing a decline in recent years from his career 9.8% walk rate.

The two-time Gold Glove winner is normally as sure-handed as they get at the hot corner, but this year his -3 defensive runs saved puts him near the bottom of the league at his position, while his 5 errors are tied for 9th most in the league.

His defensive decline is part of why he is tied for last among our candidates with a 2.1 WAR.

Next: Dustin Pedroia