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Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Argument for Colby Rasmus

For the second straight season, Colby Rasmus is a popular prospect-sleeper pick. Last year he got injured and was disappointing in a half-season at AAA, hitting a mild .251 with very mediocre power. However, this season his bat may not be essential for keeping him with the big club. As it stands, St. Louis is the only team which Baseball Prospectus expects to start three below average defensive outfielders (Chris Duncan, Rick Ankiel, and Ryan Ludwick). This should be especially troubling for manager Tony LaRussa since the only man in the Cardinal rotation who is truly a groundball pitcher is Chris Carpenter. By inserting Rasmus, by all accounts a solid centerfielder, the Cardinals get markedly better. Ankiel has poor range for a centerfielder, but will be at least average in right where he can continue to utilize his spectacular arm. Ludwick will also benefit from moving overt to left. Most importantly, iron-gloved, slow-footed Chris Duncan would then become a pinch-hitter and utility-man, prepping himself for a career at his natural position, DH.

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