In the offseason, Jeff Luhnow reached out to one of his former draft picks while with the Cardinals Colby Rasmus. Rasmus and Luhnow have kept in touch over the years, so I’m sure the conversations from time to time was centered about how nice it would be if he played for the Houston Astros. From the Bloggers Roundtable this past offseason at Fan Fest, Luhnow told us that he told Rasmus that they were interested but didn’t have room in the outfield. Then the opportunity to trade Dexter Fowler to Cubs presented itself, and the opening opened for Rasmus.
Rasmus was coming off a down year with the Toronto Blue Jays, so his stock was low. Luhnow was involved in the scouting of Rasmus when he was with the Cardinals, so he knew what type of talent Rasmus possessed. The original thought behind Rasmus’ signing was to give him a chance to play for a multi-year deal in the offseason. In return for the chance to play, Rasmus would give his best effort and help the Astros win in 2015. The Astros have indeed had a breakout 2015 season, and Rasmus has been a big part of it.
Rasmus had a slash line of .238/ .314/ .475/ .789 while hitting 25 homers and driving in 61 runs. He has also struck out a career-high 154 times. There was a time where Rasmus was not getting everyday at-bats with Preston Tucker getting a lot of the plate appearances. This is not the case anymore, as Rasmus heated up at the end of the season with a slash line of .299/ .405/ .642/ 1.047 over the last 28 days of the season with seven homers and 13 runs batted in via Baseball-Reference.
The real story is how the undervalued outfielder is playing this postseason. He hit the big go-ahead homer off Masahiro Tanaka in the second inning of the Wild-Card game. He continued his heroics in the first two games of the ALDS by homering in both of those games. Rasmus is batting .333 with a double and three homers thus far in the playoffs. He has also driven in the first run of each playoff game so far, isn’t that what a cleanup hitter supposed to do?
To continue praising Rasmus, he has also set an MLB record for having an extra-base hit in his first six career postseason games from the Tweet below. In addition to the three homers and a double in 2015, he also had three doubles in 2009 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
While Rasmus and Carlos Beltran (while w/Astros) had different skill sets, they both appear to have something in common. Rasmus seems to have that extra gear in the playoffs similar to what Beltran offered to the 2004 playoff Astros. With the season still on for the Astros, I don’t want to start predicting offseason moves. However, will his play this offseason set him up for a Beltran like payday…with some other team next year.
Rasmus is a big part of Crush City. Hopefully, he leads them to the World Series this year. If not this year, Sports Illustrated did say it would happen in 2017.