A 6-foot-2, 195-pound lefty from Alabama, Rasmus is batting .255/.362/.493 with 31 doubles and 18 home runs in Double-A. He hit .288/.364/.470 last year between Low-A and High-A.
Rasmus and I talked about the sinus infection that he endured earlier this season, the difference between High-A and Double-A pitching, and his approach against left-handed pitchers.
Adam Foster: You went on a tear at the plate in May. Is that the most comfortable you’ve felt at the plate since high school?
Colby Rasmus: Yeah, I felt real good and I was seeing the ball well, no matter what they threw. I was sitting on pitches...hitting the ball good. And then I had a little slump there – got a little sinus infection, lost some weight. That hurt me a little bit...got me out of the groove. But yeah, I felt great...the best I’ve felt in a while.
Foster: It looked like you put on a lot of weight entering this season. Did you put a lot of hours in the weight room this offseason?
Rasmus: Yeah, I put on a lot of weight. In Spring Training I was 195. I got sick (the sinus infection) and lost about 10 pounds, so that hurts a little bit. I was in the weight room every day trying to put on weight. And it worked out good – put on a lot of weight and I was holding it well – but then I got sick and dropped down a little bit....stuff like that is gonna happen.
Foster: How did it feel to play regularly while you had your sinus infection?
Rasmus: It was terrible. I was beat...the bat felt like it was a pound. It was tough; I was so hot in May...I didn’t want to let that up. So I probably would have been smart if I sat out, but I didn’t. And here we are now.
Foster: Have you had sinus infections before?
Rasmus: Nah, never had that before. Played pretty much (my whole life)...I’ve never really gotten sick like that or anything.
Foster: Have you altered your approach at all in order to hit for more power. Or has that just come to you as you’ve added more muscle?
Rasmus: Not really. I hadn’t really changed anything. That’s kind of the way my swing kind of has always been. I don’t really try to...I just try to get a good pitch and put a good swing on it; let the rest take care of itself.
Foster: What are some of the biggest adjustments you’ve had to make in Double-A?
Rasmus: You see a lot more offspeed pitches in hitter’s counts...like in the Futures Game I saw a 1-0 changeup, and that was an All-Star game. I wanted to go up there and do some damage and I was getting junk balls. Stuff like that...in hitter’s counts getting those offspeed pitches. Pitchers have got their offspeed in the zone, and (it’s) a little tighter, a bit more around the plate. Stuff like that.
Foster: So the breaking balls you’ve seen this year have been drastically better than what you saw last year?
Rasmus: They’re not a whole lot better – some guys got really good stuff. It’s just more they don’t miss with it as much...not as many hangers and that sort of thing.
Foster: Have you been playing center field 100-percent of the time? Or have you taken balls in right or anything like that?
Rasmus: Nah, I haven’t played left or right all year.
Foster: What do you think you can do to give yourself the best chance to make the big leagues this season?
Rasmus: Just get back in the groove and start hitting the ball again. It took me a little while to get over getting sick. But now I’ve been a lot better at the plate. Just get back healthy and start getting those numbers back up...get that average back up to where it was. And play good defense...get runners in. Stuff like that.
Foster: Do you worry about your batting average? Do you think that’s a key statistic, or do you focus more on other things in your game?
I see that as a key thing, but it is a big thing...especially when I go from hitting .300-.310 to .240-.250. I’ve never had a slump like that in my life. It was something that was pretty hard; I usually just try to get a lot of extra-base hits...get in those RBIs. Those are probably the main thing I try to focus on: average, extra-base hits, and RBIs.
Foster: You’re hitting lefties as well as righties this season. Does your mindset differ when you’re facing a righty versus a lefty?
Rasmus: Yeah, because lefties ain’t gonna throw no changeups. I get a lot of curveballs from lefties. I mean it depends, sometimes I’ll see five straight curveballs in an at-bat. But I do have to change it up a little bit. With a lefty I’m looking to be more aggressive because they may be thinking they might get that first fastball over or something like that. It depends on the guy...could be a lefty throwing hard. But I change it up just a little bit, not much.
Foster: If you faced Kasey Kiker (Rasmus’ little league and high school teammate, LHP) today, what would happen?
Rasmus: I don’t know what would happen, but I’d be trying to hit one out of the park.Adam Foster can be reached at email@example.com.