by Andrew Gould
Do you have that friend who you constantly have to defend to everyone else? Despite his or her own constant mess ups, you can’t help but continue to believe in this person to eventually show why you gravitated to them in the first place.
Okay, so maybe I don’t personally know Colby Rasmus, but I’ve spent the entire preseason making excuses for his poor 2011 season. After another horrible start this year, I’m now trying to convince myself that there is still some good in the young outfielder.
Remember when Rasmus burst on the scene in his sophomore season by hitting 23 home runs and stealing 12 bases for the Cardinals? His anticipated rise to stardom seems like a distant memory as he now finds himself on the waiver wire in many fantasy leagues. In 43 games Rasmus is displaying an ugly line of .210/.288/.350 with three homers and a steal. Many people, including myself, thought the change of scenery from St. Louis to Toronto would rejuvenate Rasmus who didn’t see eye-to-eye with former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Instead, he’s hit .192 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 78 games since the trade. He’s yet to leave the ballpark this month while fighting an uphill battle to pass the Mendoza line.
Can we overlook this prolonged slump and maintain that he’s going to eventually get his act together, or is time to give up on Colby Rasmus?
While exploring the numbers in hopes of finding some statistical discrepancies to blame his slump on, it instead appears that 2010 could have been the anomaly. In addition to failing to surpass 20 homers or five steals in any other year, Rasmus benefited from a .354 BABIP that helped him hit .276 in his career year. His career BABIP stands at .294, so while his .250 mark this season is a bit low, it just means that instead of hitting .210, he should be closer to .240.
Then again, while the 25-year-old’s stats tell the tale of a player regressing with every at-bat there are some positive signs. Rasmus’ strikeout-rate, down to 20.5% this season, is trending in the right direction. After a career-low 16.5% line drive rate last year, he is hitting liners at a rate of 22.0%. So, although he’ll never provide owners with a high average, he could heat up if his luck turns.
In a shallow 10-team mixed league nobody will blame you for cutting ties with Rasmus. In most leagues, however, I would still hold on to hope that he turns the tide. While I can admit I was wrong to ever believe he had 30/20 potential that would make him a stud in fantasy leagues for years to come, there’s still upside that you’re not going to find elsewhere on the waiver wire. He can still salvage the season and hit 15 home runs, maybe more, in the final three-quarters of the year.
Just give him another chance. He’s not always like this, I swear.