Rasmus was named Player of the Year by the Cardinals and the Birdhouse. He led the organization with 85 RBI in 2006.
Cardinals Prospect #1 - Colby Rasmus
Rasmus, the Birdhouse Player of the Year, is also the Cardinals top prospect
Photo: Swing of Quad Cities
Photo: Swing of Quad Cities
http://stlcardinals.scout.com/2/607645.html
TheCardinalNation.com
Jan 9, 2007

Cardinals Prospect #1 - Colby Rasmus

Rasmus was named Player of the Year by the Cardinals and the Birdhouse. He led the organization with 85 RBI in 2006.

Scout.com Player Profile

2006 Ranking: 7

Position: OF

DOB: 8/11/1986

Height: 6-2

Weight: 195

Bats: L

Throws: L

School: Russell County High School (Phenix City, AL)

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first round (28th overall) of the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $1,000,000 signing bonus.
 

2006

AVG.

AB

H

2B 3B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP.

SLG

OPS

Q.C. .310 303 94 22 3 11 50 49 17 29 55 .373 .512 .884
P.B. .254 193 49 4 5 5 35 22 11 27 35 .351 .404 .755
Totals .288 496 143 26 8 16 85 71 28 56 90 .364 .470 .834

Staff Comments

Jason Scott (1): I don't think anyone is going to argue with this ranking. The likely successor to Jim Edmonds when he retires, Rasmus is a five-tool talent. In 2006, he led the organization with 85 RBI, hitting .288 with 16 home runs and stealing 28 bases.

Listed at 175 pounds when he was drafted, Rasmus has made it a goal over the offseason to get up to 200 pounds by spring training. Already up to 195, he doesn't expect the added weight to affect his running. It will be interesting to see where the Cardinals decide to send him in 2007. At just 20-years-old, they might not want to rush him, so he may end up back at Palm Beach. However, it wouldn't surprise me to see him make the Springfield club.

Leonda Markee (1): The only unanimous ranking by The Birdhouse staff is first-place Colby Rasmus.  Rasmus was named ‘Player of the Year' by both The Birdhouse and the St. Louis Cardinals, although we did it first.  Like his Quad Cities' teammate, Bryan Anderson, Rasmus skipped Short-Season A ball and played his first full season of professional ball at age 19.  In fact Rasmus was the second youngest player in the Cardinals' system in 2006 with 200 or more at bats, behind Bryan Anderson.  Like Jaime Garcia, Rasmus reached High-A professional ball before his 20th birthday.

He led St. Louis' minors in at bats and runs batted in with 85.  His 28 stolen bases was good for third place and he took fifth place in walks with 56.  Rasmus was part of a three-way tie, along with Matt Dryer and Joe Mather, for seventh place in home runs with 16.

Rasmus is a five-tool prospect with plus range and speed in centerfield and the heir apparent to Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds.  He also possesses excellent bat speed.  Offensively, while his strikeouts per at bat remained at 1:5.5 from Quad Cities to Palm Beach, his walk rate improved from 1:11.8 plate appearances at Quad Cities to 1:8.3 plate appearances at Palm Beach.  Rasmus is aiming to begin 2007 at Double-A Springfield which would be quite an achievement although an entirely attainable one.

Ray Mileur (1): Only 20-years-old, Rasmus is a five-tool outfielder who is the most promising outfield prospect in the system since the Cardinals signed J.D. Drew in 1998, giving him a $3 million signing bonus.

Colby's signing bonus was a mere $1 million dollars and I make the comparisons between Rasmus and Drew because I think Rasmus will be a better player than Drew, who was supposed to be the next Mickey Mantle.

Colby has power and speed potential and he just needs to refine his plate discipline against advanced pitching to cut down on his strikeouts. He has a problem with left handers and the breaking ball, but he should be able to overcome that in time with his excellent bat speed and improving pitch recognition.

He has struggled at first everywhere he's played for St. Louis, but fans should take comfort in that he has been able to improvise, adapt and overcome the challenges he has faced as he's moved up through the system, facing advance pitching.

There have been rumors this winter that Rasmus was being considered as trade bait for starting pitching, in particular for Dontrelle Willis. My take on this is Rasmus should be taking over in center for St. Louis by the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009 and I wouldn't trade him for a short term fix in the rotation.

He was named the Birdhouse and St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year and I wouldn't be surprised to see Rasmus start the season at Double-A Springfield. Insiders with the club indicate that they expect him to play most of the season there even if he returns to the Florida State League to begin the 2007 season.

Brian Walton (1): Of all our picks, this seems to be the least controversial. Befitting his top pick status, Rasmus has to be considered the most untouchable of the Cardinals minor leaguers. The major suspense here is whether or not the left-handed hitter will continue to progress such that he could be ready to replace Jim Edmonds in centerfield in 2009. At least the goal is clear.

Even if Rasmus ends up as a right-fielder, as some scouts believe, his combination of bat speed and power to all fields, solid baserunning and strong arm validates his top-prospect status. As he fills out his frame, look for Rasmus to only get better and better.

Rasmus may prove to be ready to make the jump to Double-A to start the season after driving in 85 runs in 2006.

STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
 

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