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Whither Colby Rasmus?

Colby RasmusTwo weeks ago we released a preview of possible late-round minor league outfield prospects. Every team has their stud outfielder, and every fan wants to see their five-tool star featured in the world of fantasy baseball.

That said, we admittedly left one high-profile prospect off our last post – Colby Rasmus of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals fans can now rest easy. The top outfield prospect suffered a sprained knee injury last season and only played in 90 games. Still, Rasmus batted .251 with 11 homeruns, 36 RBI, 56 runs and 15 steals. In 2007, his 5×5 stats in AA were .275/29/72/93/18.

Rasmus spent his off season getting significantly bulked up. For 2009, Rasmus’ fantasy value is directly tied to whether or not he can earn the starting spot in center field. Keep in mind that spring training has yet to start, but Rasmus’ current average draft position is 270. In standard 10-team mixed leagues, Rasmus is likely not going to be drafted. NL-only leagues and larger mixed leagues should definitely see Rasmus drafted as a late-round flier.

If Rasmus wins the starting the starting center fielder job (which he probably will) his ADP will gain as much as 10%, making him a late round flier in 10-team mixed leagues. There is definite 20/20 potential with Rasmus assuming he can play a full 162 schedule.

Even if Rasmus doesn’t make the big league squad out of spring training, keeper leaguers should definitely draft him if available. All fantasy baseball players should be watching Rasmus in the next few months, much like Evan Longoria in 2008.

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