James Loney spent the first 6+ years of his career with the Dodgers, but after being traded to the Red Sox as part of the blockbuster deal of 2012, he was forced to quickly change coasts and leagues. After his brief stint in Boston, Loney stayed in the American League East but moved south for 2013. The Rays are particularly excited about two of Loney’s qualities. First, they love his glove. With a .995 career fielding percentage, Loney holds the fourth-highest career fielding percentage among active first basemen and has established himself as one of the most sure-handed players in the game. Secondly, they love his ability to put the ball in play and avoid strikeouts. Rays 1st Basemen combined to bat only .209 last season while striking out 195 times. Loney is a career .282 hitter and struck out only 51 times in 2012. With numbers like that, the Rays are optimistic that James can put a disappointing 2012 behind him and have a career year in 2013.
James and his wife Nadia still reside in Missouri City, TX, where his Elkins High School team went 30-1 his senior year of high school and was ranked the Number 1 team in the nation. Loney was named the Powerade Baseball Player of the Year for Texas and was slotted to attend Baylor University but opted to go directly to the pros after the Dodgers drafted him 19th overall in the 2002 draft. Loney and his wife recently welcomed their first child into the world, James Jordan.