Posts Tagged ‘Colby Rasmus’

Alex Anthopoulos continues to mystify and impress the Toronto Blue Jays fan base and I think his latest acquisition of prized outfielder Colby Rasmus helps remind us all that we have one of the best minds in baseball at the helm.  I am almost starting to worry that other GMs will simply stop dealing with Alex and the Jays with the worry they may be getting fleeced. 

Kind of strange that Zach Stewart has never set foot in AAA to play for Las Vegas in the ultimate offensive environment isn’t it?  Stewart at 25 is a dinosaur (in prospect years) and probably one of the oldest players in that league and putting up very pedestrian numbers to boot.  Anthopoulos and the Jays knew if he played the whole season in Vegas his stats would likely look terrible and either kill his waning confidence even more or worse, destroy any remaining trade value he might have had.

Keith Law is an excellent talent evaluator and a great baseball writer but I have never understood his fascination with Stewart, whom he still claims is a great prospect in the Jays organization.  I disagreed vehemently via twitter with the rationale he was an aged, overrated and underwhelming talent likely destined for the bullpen at some point and let’s just say he didn’t agree, at all. 

 
@keithlaw keithlaw
@tdotsports1 It is hard to get such a large quantity of wrong into a single tweet. Well done
 

Not to beat a dead horse but seriously 25 years old, still in AA and not even dominating much younger competition?  He flashed a 90 MPH fastball in his brief MLB cameo and through 94 IPs in AA has a 7.06 K/9, .283 BAA, 1.41 WHIP and a 3.35 FIP.  Not horrific but nothing that jumps out at you screaming ‘stud’ and certainly nobody considered untouchable if a Colby Rasmus could be acquired.

Colby Rasmus is a 24-year old CF with a boatload of potential and has a pretty impressive MLB resume already as well.  He was ranked the 41st most valuable trade asset in baseball by Fangraphs (yeah, a pretty reliable source) and was ahead of such names as Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury and Matt Wieters.

So to recap we traded a bullpen arm in Jason Frasor, a 25-year old pitching “prospect” in Zach Stewart and a good young lefty (but a reliever currently) in Mark Rzepczynski and we received a top 50 MLB asset in CF Colby Rasmus?  Right, next you are going to tell me somebody took Vernon Wells’ and Alex Rios entire contracts, gave us Yunel Escobar for Alex Gonzalez and we were able to sign the best hitter in baseball to a below-market contract that saved us around $100 million total dollars.

That’s not say Rasmus is not without warts given his long time ‘feud’ with the guru Tony LaRussa and relative step back stats wise in 2011 he still has a lot to prove.  He is currently slashing 246/332/420 with 11 HRs – good for a .332 wOBA.  He has maintained his great patience (11.7 BB%) and cut down his strikeouts dramatically (19.9 K%) and still has a decent .175 ISO (isolated slugging).

Defensively he won’t be confused with Austin Jackson in CF and UZR has never been a huge fan of his as witnessed by his -7.1 UZR rating in over 2800 IPs in centre.  His best tool is the bat and if he can continue to show good patience and an improving eye while maintaining (or adding) to his fairly impressive power stroke he could be a real boost to an already impressive Blue Jays line-up and a great left handed bat to go with the big righty Jose Bautista. 

He will likely man centre until prospect Anthony Gose proves he can hack it in the big league offensively, Gose is supposed to be a plus defender with great speed.  Colby Rasmus is young and was ranked as the 3rd best prospect in baseball in 2009 by Baseball America and will remain relatively cheap until 2014 though he is heading for arbitration at the end of this season and will see a decent raise.

As per Fangraphs here is how the massive three team trade worked out:

Blue Jays: Colby Rasmus, Mark Teahen, Brian Tallet, Trever Miller, P.J. Walters

Cardinals: Octavio Dotel, Mark Rzepczynski, Edwin Jackson, Cory Patterson

White Sox: Jason Frasor, Zach Stewart

The biggest minus to the trade is losing Mark Rzepczynski who has shown to be a more than capable relief pitcher while still having the potential to one day join the Blue Jays rotation.  My condolences go out to ‘Scrabbles’ biggest stalker fan Drew Fairservice at Ghostrunner on First

Sorry dude, but you have to give to get!

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Here is the introduction to the DMB (Diamond Mind Baseball) Trade Value series.

2010 DMB Trade Value: #50 -#41

40) 2B Ian Kinsler (R) – Age:  28

Quick Take:  One of the best hitters at a thin position (2B) when healthy, which has been a major factor over his entire career.  His career high in games was in 2009 with 144 and in 2010 he has provided solid overall value with his stick (.359 wOBA) and glove (0.2 UZR).  His power is way down (.235 ISO in 2009, .120 in 2010) but can injuries be to blame for the power outage?  Another guy who needs to prove he can stay healthy and put up consistent power numbers.

DMB PRO: good bat and glove at a weak position

DMB CON: injury prone, declining power

39) 3B/RF Jose Bautista (R) – Age:  30

Quick Take:  Having a career year with his first real fulltime gig with the Toronto Blue Jays, his power has been massive (.351 ISO!!) and he leads the league in HRs (42) and even walks a ton (14.9 BB %), bonus is the positional value as he is rated at 1B, 3B and RF.  Not a great defender at any position, questions are already being raised whether he can produce anywhere near the same level in 2011, my guess is not, but until that is proven otherwise, given his power and positional versatility he is a valuable player going forward.

DMB PRO: huge power/patience, plays multiple positions

DMB CON: low average, a fluke season?  Skydome has been launching pad this year.

38) C Matt Wieters (S) – Age: 24

Quick Take:  So obviously he can’t walk on water as we were led to believe however the kid is only in his first full season at the major league level at 24 years of age and playing the toughest position in the sport in the toughest division in the game.  While some of the prospect lustre is firmly off Wieters, there is still a lot of time left for him to develop and we can’t just forget the 600 or so god like PAs from the minor leagues.  This is purely a speculative play for a weak position over the next 5-6 years and though I am still buying stock in this guy we will need to see marked improvement next year.

DMB PRO: switch hitting catcher, solid potential at the thinnest position in the game

DMB CON: lacklustre overall offensive numbers thus far.

37) SP Justin Verlander (R) – Age: 27

Quick Take: His K-rate has normalized in 2010 (8.5 K/9) after a sensational 2009 (10.0 K/9) and his walks are also slightly up, but I am still a huge believer in Verlander going forward and he is still among the game’s best starting pitchers and is only now entering his prime seasons.  Armed with one of the game’s best arsenal of pitchers, all of his pitches (fastball, curve, change and slider) show a positive run value (per 100 pitches thrown).

DMB PRO: solid K rate, consistent, doesn’t possess huge splits (good vs. L and R)

DMB CON: plays in a pitcher’s park, decreasing K’s a slight concern

36) LF Ryan Braun (R) – Age: 27

Quick Take: The Hebrew Hammer is having his worst statistical season in the big leagues and still possesses a .370 wOBA and .843 OPS.  His power is down across the board but he is still young, has shown massive power in the past and is entering his prime hitting years, consider me still on board the bandwagon for one more season in hopes that the power returns or his value will take a serious hit.

DMB PRO: destroys left handed pitchers

DMB CON: only a LF, lack of patience at plate, hitter’s park, decreasing power output

35) SS Elvis Andrus (R) – Age: 22

Quick Take:  What does it say about the current state of the shortstop position when a guy with a sub .700 OPS ranks among the most valuable players in the game?  Andrus is still an exciting (young) prospect and the Rangers still have hopes that his bat continues to improve.  He already plays one of the better defensive shortstops in baseball and adds a speed element offensively, hopefully he can hit for more power going forward.

DMB PRO: provides valuable PAs and is a great defensive player at very shallow position, speed

DMB CON: very little power and plays in hitter’s park

34) 3B David Wright (R) – Age: 28

Quick Take:  While no longer in the discussion for one of the game’s best players Wright still provides good pop (.207 ISO, 499 SLG) from a premium position.

DMB PRO: plays in pitchers park

DMB CON: declining patience/OBP affects overall value

33) CF Colby Rasmus (L) – Age:  24

Quick Take:  A slick fielding centre fielder with power gives you a valuable asset going forward.  Rasmus has massive power potential (.232 ISO) and should settle in as an average defensive centre fielder when all is said and done, plus at only 24 years of age can still improve.  His lack of plate discipline has given him a shockingly high K rate (32.6 K %) and he can’t hit lefties at all, but with time hopefully these improve or his value will definitely take a hit.

DMB PRO: good power, good defense

DMB CON: cannot hit lefties, way too many strikeouts

32) SS Starlin Castro (R) – Age: 20

Quick Take: Anytime a 20 year old more than holds his own with the stick (.338 wOBA), plays a solid position that is dying for talent (SS, -0.5 UZR) and is still growing and maturing physically is definitely a player worth owning.  Castro has given Cubbies fans something to cheer for in 2010 with a pretty decent rookie season overall.  There are a ton of holes in his offensive game (patience mostly) but he is 20 years old and this is to be expected, the future could be bright for this kid and another speculative buy at an ultra thin position.

DMB PRO: shortstop with upside, solid defender

DMB CON: growing pains of youth

31) RF/CF Jayson Werth (R) – Age:  31

Quick Take:  One of the more underrated players in the game, Werth has power (.222 ISO), patience (12.9 BB % and .390 OBP), speed (normally good for 20 SBs) and plays solid defense at all three outfield spots.  He strikes out a bit much and he plays in a hitter’s park but at just 31 years old should have some solid years left, he is a free agent at season’s end so keep an eye on where he lands (ballpark factors).  Werth also normally has extreme platoon splits and struggles against righties in DMB, has hit righties better in 2010.

DMB PRO: solid defensively (rated at CF), good power/patience

DMB CON: strikes out a lot, has heavy platoon splits (awesome vs. L, average to bad vs. R), good hitter’s park