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Hot Cornered: Evan Longoria Impresses With Glove As Well

While Evan Longoria continues to amaze us with gaudy offensive numbers like his slash line of .358/.410/.748/1.158. Or his wOBA of .481 to go along with 11 home runs, 15 doubles, 44 RBI. He has now passed Adrian Beltre and Ryan Zimmerman as the best defensive third basemen in the game. Note that it is a small sample size thus far and defensive numbers change week to week, but right now Longoria is the games best defensive third basemen with a UZR of 7.4. That is a full run better than Zimmerman's 6.3 and more than double Beltre's UZR of 3.0.

Longoria continues to be the best at the hot corner in terms of turning the double play. After leading the league in double play runs in 2008, he is once again atop the leader board in that category in 2009. While Zimmerman's range is slightly ahead of Longoria, Longo has less errors and his UZR/150 is a tick ahead of the Nationals third basemen. Again, small sample sizes, but Longoria showed us last year that his defense is not a fluke.

In 2008, Longoria led all third basemen in UZR with a 14.9, however he missed 43 games. The "record" for UZR in a single season since 2002 belongs to Adrian Beltre, who had an amazing 23.1 in 2004. Longoria is already halfway to his 2008 total, and with no signs of slowing down he could make a serious run at Beltre's mark. Add that with his fantastic offensive start and you'll find that over the first 30 or so games, Longoria has been worth almost three wins already (2.9 WAR). If this pace continues, he will not only be close to an 8 WAR season, which is reserved for your Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez types, but he could be adding an MVP to his award collection. Not bad for a 23 year old, who was showering in the Durham water last April.

(Stats from Fangraphs.com. For more info on UZR etc. click here.)