Colby Rasmus Has Become a Houston Astros’ Icon Following His Postseason Play in 2015
Last year during the Houston Astros playoffs, people would stop whatever they were doing when Colby Rasmus would come up to the plate. He had as great of a playoff performance as a player could have, which has led Astros fans to think that he needs to be given the first shot as the cleanup hitter. The cleanup hitter is normally one of the most owned players in fantasy baseball. However, Rasmus is only owned by only 9% of owners in ESPN leagues. In Houston, he has become a fan favorite, but he is not getting the same love from people nationwide.
This brings up a question, are Astros fans overvaluing Rasmus, who beats to the beat of his own drum? He was the first player to accept the qualifying offer as it exists in today’s game. As a player, Rasmus has struggled to fit in with other organisations in the past, has found a home in Houston. He could have got a multi-year deal this offseason from another team, but he decided to return to Houston for the second season.
With Rasmus’ heroics and shenanigans during the playoff celebration in which he walked out shirtless with the orange goggles, he became an instant fan favourite. His look inspired Halloween costumes and Twitter profile pictures alike. But now 10,000 lucky fans to an Astros game this year will get a celebration Colby Rasmus bobblehead shirtless and all. We treat Rasmus like a rock star, but are we wearing beer goggles as Astros fans?
Recently, Evan Drellich wrote that the Astros outfield rivals the Pittsburg Pirates as the top outfields in baseball. It’s fair to say that he is not in the same category of Carlos Gomez and George Springer, but he is also not exactly the ugly duckling either. Last season he has a slash line of .238/ .314/ .475/ .789 while hitting 25 homers and 61 RBIs. Does he deserve the $15.8 million dollar salary for the 2016 season, probably not, but the Astros were more than happy bringing him back into the Astros lineup.
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The cleanup spot will most likely be manned by A.J. Reed shortly as he profiles as a power hitter and the left-handed hitter to hit behind the dynamic trio of Jose Altuve, Springer, and Carlos Correa. If Rasmus could even capture some of the lightning he had last season in the playoffs, he would make this Astros team a World Series favorite. For now, I still see Rasmus batting cleanup until someone else takes the job.
Rasmus could be inspired by playing for a contract for next year. But I believe that he and the rest of the Astros feel like there is some unfinished business following the ALDS loss last season.
If Rasmus does hit cleanup, then look for his runs batted in to increase from the 61 he had last season, with maybe a few more homers. He may not be the prototypical cleanup hitter, but he is our Colby Jack for right now. However, don’t be surprised if people outside think that we are drinking some of that Astros Kool-Aid with the love that Rasmus is getting these days.
**Stats from Baseball-Reference**