What a game for Colby Rasmus last night in Chicago.
5 for 5…4 runs…3 RBI…1 HR…1 2B…9 total bases…WPA of .302 (meaning he was 30% responsible for the win)
It was one of Rasmus’s best games of the season, and pushed his season average to .247 and his season OPS to .762, good enough for 3rd best on the team (starting players only).
John Farrell tweaked the lineup last night, moving Colby to the #2 spot for the 5th time this season. Yes, it’s only five games and yes, it’s a small sample size, but I think we can all agree on one thing – it’s working. Look at his batting splits (from baseball reference).
Baseball is a very mental game. There is a lot of failure involved. For being a team sport, it is also a very individual game, where it is easier to blame a single player than an entire team. When things go wrong, it’s impossible to hide on the 4th line.
Colby Rasmus was Baseball America’s 3rd top prospect in 2009, ahead of players like Buster Posey, Mike Moustakas, Mike “Giancarlo” Stanton, and Eric Hosmer.
Generally, top-3 prospects don’t bat at the bottom of the batting order. Ramus hit 9th six times, 8th 22 times, and 7th 14 times. His numbers looked OK in the 8-hole, but not very good in the other two.
This is just a theory, but there is a very good chance that Colby saw where he was hitting, and felt he didn’t deserve to be down there. That part of the lineup is generally reserved for all-glove no-bat players, or pitchers – not top-3 prospects.
So how does a guy show that he should hit higher? He produces. But when you try and try and try, harder and harder and harder, to succeed at something what inevitably happens? You fail. Rasmus was clearly pressing early in the year, and slumped badly. Now that he is in the number two hole, it looks like the pressure to succeed is off. He is back to having fun and playing relaxed.
Of course, this could be completely incorrect, and I am likely making everything up.
But one thing is for sure. Colby’s resurgence has hopefully made me a winner, and rendered this tweet dead: