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He transferred to Long Beach for his sophomore year and hit .320, earning All-Conference honors.Because Long Beach State already had an established shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki (who now plays with the Toronto Blue Jays), Longoria played third base.In October 2007, sportswriter Ken Rosenthal opined that Longoria "might be next season's Ryan Braun, making a rapid ascent to the majors." Some scouts have in particular said that the way that the ball "explodes off his bat" reminds them of Braun.He was expected to start at third for Tampa Bay in 2008 with the move of Akinori Iwamura to second base, but ultimately failed to make the opening day roster and was optioned to Triple-A Durham.He is also known for his acrobatic defense, winning three Gold Gloves at third base in 2009, 2010, and 2017. Longoria did not receive any scholarship offers to play college baseball.After signing a ten-year, 100 million-dollar contract extension through 2022, he has been named by many as the Rays "face of the franchise" and owns many of the franchise's records, including the team record for most career home runs, doubles, and RBIs. The University of Southern California was the only program to consider him, but eventually backed out of recruiting him.Longoria made his major league debut that night going 1 for 3 with an RBI.Longoria hit his first career home run on April 14, against the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field.

As a result, he attended Rio Hondo Community College during his freshman season, before Long Beach State offered him a scholarship.After two full seasons in the minors, he made his major league debut for the Rays in 2008, and was named to the American League team for the 2008 MLB All Star Game.Longoria was also named the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year on November 10.Following a successful MVP summer in 2006 in the Cape Cod League with the Chatham A's where he played second base, When he first started attending Long Beach State University, he majored in kinesiology.However, he switched to the department of Criminal Justice because it was somewhat less time-consuming and, therefore, would not interfere with the baseball schedule as much.