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Dol-Fan
06-05-2012, 10:52 PM
I was hoping that I would get word back from Rant Sports about writing on their website earlier today so that I could post this up before the game tonight...unfortunately, they did not get back to me (I'm not working this summer so I figure I may as well make some money for watching lots of baseball). So...I guess my timing was pretty good, because Rasmus is 5-5 tonight. Thought I'd at least post this to get thoughts from some of you.



Somewhere, in his sunny retirement home in who-the-heck-knows-where, Tony La Russa is snickering about Colby Rasmus.

Rasmus is hitting a triple slash line of just .227/.298/.411 thus far this season, a far cry from the .276/.361/.498 line that catapulted him from top prospect to stud centre-fielder in just his second Major League season back in 2010. This troubling start to the season follows a disappointing 2011 campaign that saw him jettisoned from St. Louis, away from the scrutinous glare of Tony La Russa, when he hit .225/.298/.391. Eerily similar to his line this year, isn’t it?

So what has changed since his breakout campaign in 2010?

As it happens, not a whole lot.

He’s walking a bit less, down from 11.8% of his plate appearances to 8.7%. That is a regression, but certainly not an extreme one. He’s also striking out less, down from 27.7% of the time in 2010 to just 20.4% of the time this year.

His BABIP is down from a sparkling .354 to just .267. That is nearly a 100-point drop on his average on balls in play. Sometimes these drops are influenced by production of weaker contact. Are pitchers pitching him differently than they did in 2010?

Although he’s seeing fewer four-seam fastballs than he did in 2010, he saw a similar distribution of pitches in 2010 and 2011. Rasmus is seeing a different distribution of pitches, specifically, more two-seamers and fewer four-seamers, but he struggled last year despite seeing a similar repertoire in 2010.

This brings us to the luck factor.

Take a look at the graphic below courtesy of texasleaguers.com. This shows Colby’s batted ball distribution for April and May of 2010. Let’s compare this graphic with the second one below, which shows Colby’s batted ball distribution to-date in 2012.

The first thing that becomes obvious is the number of outs recorded on the first-base side of the infield. Rasmus is a predominant pull hitter who produces a lot of outs on the right side of the field. Rasmus is also hitting more groundballs this year, resulting in more infield outs. In order to fully regain his success from 2010, he’ll need a few more fly balls and perhaps a gift from the BABIP gods.

A comparison of the two graphics shows us something rather clearly – more balls in the outfield going for hits in 2010. In 2010 as a whole, Rasmus hit .318 on fly balls. In 2012, he is hitting just .185 on fly balls. Furthermore, in 2010, Rasmus hit .742 on line drives. This year, just .600, a number usually reserved for the least powerful, or least lucky, players in baseball. Last year, only 8 players finished with a batting average on line drives below .600, a list that includes notable sluggers Brett Gardner, Justin Turner, Juan Pierre, Brent Morel, and Marlon Byrd.

It is unlikely that Rasmus truly is the 2010 version of himself. His .354 BABIP is unmatched even by any of his minor league numbers. Rasmus had some luck on his side in 2010.

However, Colby Rasmus is better than he has shown the last two years. Soon enough, his line drives will start falling in for base hits. His fly balls will start dropping in on a more regular basis. Colby Rasmus won’t share company with Juan Pierre for much longer.

Tony La Russa, get ready to stop your chuckling. Rasmus is a player, and he’s about due for a breakout.


links to images:

2010: http://www.freeimagehosting.net/vrj8a
2012: http://www.freeimagehosting.net/r1son

craigerlee
06-05-2012, 11:13 PM
I enjoyed the piece Dol-Fan if it matters at all. Definitely better than some of the pieces I've read on reputable websites. I'd say its worthy of Rant Sports, especially when drivel like this (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/nhl-winter-classic-im-glad-selig-didnt-think-of-that/) is making it on Fangraphs.

Dol-Fan
06-05-2012, 11:21 PM
I enjoyed the piece Dol-Fan if it matters at all. Definitely better than some of the pieces I've read on reputable websites. I'd say its worthy of Rant Sports, especially when dribble like this (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/nhl-winter-classic-im-glad-selig-didnt-think-of-that/) is making it on Fangraphs.

Thanks. It does matter, since I have no idea if I can write like this or not (my wit is obviously lacking :p). I have no journalism experience. I'm a researcher by trade and I'm accustomed to writing research papers (although I have a bit of experience writing educational articles for a local brain injury association). I wrote it in about an hour this afternoon, at least half of that spent navigating the texasleaguers website, so even if you said it was terrible I wouldn't have been offended. I'd just put two hours in next time

My goodness though, that's an instant FG classic.

Twitchy
06-05-2012, 11:54 PM
Nice call on the breakout.

StayOnBoard
06-06-2012, 08:14 AM
Nice article, far better than some of the stuff I read on a daily basis. You should definitely do more :) Good work!

bartron_44
06-06-2012, 08:29 AM
that guy looks like a genius right now........what a game for rasmus (offensively) last night.
That game just proved to me more that we should have Gose in CF with Rasmus in LF. Rasmus is starting to hit like a slugger, and Gose is just too da** good to leave in AAA.

lexecutioner
06-06-2012, 08:30 AM
Im always a fan Dol-Fan great article. I am not a stat freak but you relay your points without boring a normal reader like me. Hope the best for you bro!

alistar
06-06-2012, 11:35 AM
that guy looks like a genius right now........what a game for rasmus (offensively) last night.
That game just proved to me more that we should have Gose in CF with Rasmus in LF. Rasmus is starting to hit like a slugger, and Gose is just too da** good to leave in AAA.

The guy hasn’t shown the ability to hit consistently in the minors outside of this year where he plays in possibly the most hitter friendly ballpark in all of professional baseball. And it’s not like he’s completely destroying it down there. Not saying he’s a complete bust, but saying he’s too “damn good” for Triple A when he’s really shown no track record that he could handle major league pitching? Sounds excessive.

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 12:19 PM
that guy looks like a genius right now........what a game for rasmus (offensively) last night.
That game just proved to me more that we should have Gose in CF with Rasmus in LF. Rasmus is starting to hit like a slugger, and Gose is just too da** good to leave in AAA.

That genius is me...:o

Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. This type of stuff will become my pastime this summer if it keeps going well.

BTW - Gose is not ready for the majors. I watch as many of his games as I can (which is really only about 2 per week), sometimes he looks great and sometimes he looks downright awful. I really think he should be left down there for the entire year, maybe give him a September call-up, but only if it doesn't interfere with the development of Rasmus and Snider.

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 12:20 PM
Im always a fan Dol-Fan great article. I am not a stat freak but you relay your points without boring a normal reader like me. Hope the best for you bro!

That's what I'm hoping for!

Kelly Gruber
06-06-2012, 12:26 PM
Nice read for sure.

dtmagnet
06-06-2012, 04:27 PM
Well, I really hope you're right about Rasmus.

Korac
06-06-2012, 04:38 PM
Well done. Informative and easy to read. Always a good combination. :)

wagnall
06-06-2012, 04:46 PM
Nicely done. And as for Gose I haven't seen him play so I really can't say, so I will rely on those that are watching him make those decisions. Who is closer, Sierra or Gose?

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 09:40 PM
Nicely done. And as for Gose I haven't seen him play so I really can't say, so I will rely on those that are watching him make those decisions. Who is closer, Sierra or Gose?

I don't really consider Sierra a prospect, so I guess Gose. Sierra would probably be more successful at the plate right now because he's more powerful and more consistent, but his bat just doesn't play in right field. He's not a great hitter at all. He's a similar situation to Eric Thames in that he's an older guy with a low ceiling, but Thames has hit about 30 points higher at all levels. It's nice that he's got a big arm and raw power, but an .844 OPS in Las Vegas just doesn't project to success in the Majors.

Neither have impressed me too much at the plate this year, but Gose is a plus-plus defender at a premium position so he'd add some value to the ML roster if Rasmus went down. Gose will be a far superior hitter when he gains a bit of consistency (and obviously, if he can learn to hit lefties). Some games I'll watch him and he'll look awesome, smacking doubles to the gaps and hitting hard liners up the middle and the next he's popping up foul balls and grounding out weakly to the second baseman.

TO Rapz
06-06-2012, 09:47 PM
Any chance you can hook me up?

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 10:30 PM
Any chance you can hook me up?

Me? With what?

Eagles4Lyfe
06-06-2012, 11:19 PM
Apply at the score they have no baseball knowledge whatsoever.

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 11:20 PM
Apply at the score they have no baseball knowledge whatsoever.

I'd rather write for Bleacher Report than the Score.

Eagles4Lyfe
06-06-2012, 11:23 PM
:laugh: :laugh:
Thing is though bro at the score they have ball guys and hockey guys when they have live @ the score.
You can be the guy they flip the script to when they wanna talk baseball and since you have extensive knowledge of our farm and actual team and can understand stuff properly they can use you.
Plus where else can you get close to Renee Pacquette and that hot girl who won Drafted

Dol-Fan
06-06-2012, 11:26 PM
:laugh: :laugh:
Thing is though bro at the score they have ball guys and hockey guys when they have live @ the score.
You can be the guy they flip the script to when they wanna talk baseball and since you have extensive knowledge of our farm and actual team and can understand stuff properly they can use you.
Plus where else can you get close to Renee Pacquette and that hot girl who won Drafted

Sold :laugh2:

Toxeryll
06-07-2012, 12:19 AM
:laugh: :laugh:
Thing is though bro at the score they have ball guys and hockey guys when they have live @ the score.
You can be the guy they flip the script to when they wanna talk baseball and since you have extensive knowledge of our farm and actual team and can understand stuff properly they can use you.
Plus where else can you get close to Renee Pacquette and that hot girl who won Drafted

:drool:

ByShine
06-07-2012, 12:34 AM
what breakout

wagnall
06-07-2012, 03:22 PM
:laugh: :laugh:
Thing is though bro at the score they have ball guys and hockey guys when they have live @ the score.
You can be the guy they flip the script to when they wanna talk baseball and since you have extensive knowledge of our farm and actual team and can understand stuff properly they can use you.
Plus where else can you get close to Renee Pacquette and that hot girl who won Drafted


Too Funny :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

D-Train#35
06-07-2012, 08:08 PM
Well written and I totally agree with everything said. In fact, he's already starting to show it the past few weeks.

Good job bud.

TO Rapz
06-08-2012, 07:10 PM
Me? With what?

Yes you. :drool:

A job over the summer where I can write and get paid lol.

town123
06-10-2012, 10:25 AM
Nice read Dol-Fan.

If I could even half-way write properly, you and everyone would be hearing all about Lansing all the time. Unfortunately I can't and besides, there really isn't anything to say about the Luggies. There have zero sticks on the team, Sanchez is the king, Syndergaard is awesome to watch (even if he needs to not be so deliberate with his 90mph change....lol) and Nicollino is a good looking kid as well. The Tampa team has a bunch of great sticks and is the most fun to watch in A ball.

Again.... good reading and stick with it.