Colby Rasmus 2012 Hot Streak: Buy High or Stay Away

Yahoo Roto Arcade posted an article on Colby Rasmus’s recent streak and pondered whether he has broken thru for 2012 or whether the Blue Jays will see their erratic outfielder come back down to Earth. Fantasy owners and non-believers are gathering around one of the most mind-boggling questions of 2012, but the answer can be worth a league championship IMO.

They talk about his lefty-splits for the season and his K/BB rate to justify that this streak is meaningless, but if they are using his hot streak to justify this conversation, how about looking at how Rasmus stacks up against lefties during the streak?

Colby Rasmus vs lefty starters (most notable, only missing 1-2 DNP games):

  • 06.16 vs Cliff Lee  – 2 for 4 2 RBIs
  • 06.06 vs Jose Quintana  – 1 for 3 1RBI
  • 06.02 vs Felix Dubront – 0 for 3 1K
  • 05.25 vs. Derek Holland  – 1 for 3 , 2B
  • 05.22 vs Matt Moore – 0 for 1, 1BB
  • 05.18 vs John Niese – DNP ( I’ll talk about this later)
  • 05.15 vs David Price – 0 for 3
  • 05.14 vs Cesar Ramos (Niemann left game after 1 inning, Ramos pitched until 5th) – 0 for 1 , 1BB 1run
  • 05.13 vs Scott Diamond – 0 for 3
  • 05.05 vs CJ Wilson – 0 for 3, 1K

Two things I see here that I feel benefit Colby in the long run. One thing is that the Blue Jays don’t start him against every starter. He has sat when they played Johnathan Niese and the Mets, he has sat when Matt Harrison of the Rangers pitched. His splits against lefties aren’t good, but the Jays make sure they don’t constantly match him up against hard lefties all the time. Sitting him down against lefties 20% of the time will only have him lose 70-90 ABs this season. Seeing he is a #2 hitter now he’ll make-up for those at-bats on the top of the order as well against pitching he can hit.

Another thing I see is that he is walking and kinda hitting lefties better than I thought. He has 2 walks in the 24 at-bats shown here, and these lefties aren’t necessarily the easiest group to be at-bat against (David Price, Quintana, Cliff Lee, CJ Wilson, Matt Moore).  The stretch improves as the days go by.

Also, he has walked twice vs lefties, considering that he has probably only walked 2-3 times during this entire stretch. And over that many at-bats and with the talent of lefties he’s facing, I think along with his streak its a real achievement that he’s at-least doing something against lefties instead of dragging his stats down playing them.

Do I think Rasmus breaks out this season? Very probable. He might’ve needed a little space to grow mentally, and it might have been his fragile ego and his quick call-up to the fire criticism of LaRussa that may have slowed his progress. Hopefully the Blue Jays still have a leash on him where they can encourage his growth in this atmosphere, and that he doesn’t need constant coddling from the likes of his dad.

But if he’s doing a 1 for 4 against good lefties daily, especially since there are only about 3-4 legitimate tough lefties in the AL East, I don’t see how the splits will become a hindrance if his skills improve. With that momentum, I expect to see a .285/24/87/94/16 line at the end of 2012.

With that in mind, I see a buy-kinda high scenario. If you’re crying in your coffee over Lorenzo Cain, Chris Young, or Alex Gordon this season, Rasmus could be your guy to get your team back into shape for the Summer run.


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