Aug 10, 2011; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) warms up before playing against the Oakland Athletics at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays beat the Athletics 8-4. (Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE)

Goldstein: Execs Favor Yoenis Cespedes Over Colby Rasmus

In Kevin Goldstein’s latest over at Baseball Prospectus, he asks eight Major League executives whether they’d take newly-established Dominican Republic resident and international free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes over five other young MLB outfielders — Colby Rasmus, Drew Stubbs, B.J. Upton, Chris Young and Adam Jones — who haven’t quite reached their full potentials yet.

The executives, “many with extensive international experience and in-person looks at Cespedes,” Goldstein writes, were hypothetically offered each of the six outfielders for free, so cost wasn’t a factor in their decision.

Rasmus leads off the article (before the paywall hits for those of you that aren’t BP subscribers), but let’s just say that the results aren’t pretty, and six of the eight executives polled chose Cespedes over the Blue Jays center fielder.

Goldstein prefaces the results by saying, “opinions on where Cespedes fit on the scale were all over the board; one exec took all five big-leaguers ahead of Cespedes, while another chose Cespedes over all five established players.”

Even though he didn’t hit well at all with the Jays following the trade, Rasmus is able to play the “fitting into a new environment” card, given that he was able to gradually come out of his shell on a new team that didn’t include Tony La Russa. Practically all Jays fans are pulling for him in 2012 and hoping that he hits more like he did in his breakout 28-double, 23-home run season in 2010. One of the two execs in the article that voted in Rasmus’ favor (from the National League) is of the same mindset.

“He’s just so young, and look at what he just did in 2010,” he says.

Despite hitting 10 doubles with the Jays and otherwise struggling to muster anything offensively, it was easy to see Rasmus’ defensive prowess in center field while playing for the Jays. Sticking in center field ultimately determined the other executive, also from the NL, that voted for Rasmus to vote the way he did.

“I know I’m in the minority here, but I see Cespedes as more of a right fielder than one who can patrol center,” he explained. “That puts far more pressure on the bat.”

The other comments on Rasmus in the article, from American League executives that voted against Rasmus, are fairly blunt.

“I just don’t think he’s as good as maybe he should be,” says an AL scouting executive. “I don’t like the swing, and there’s something about the J.D. Drew way he goes about things.”

“I just don’t buy the whole ‘Tony La Russa turned this guy into a bad player’ thing,” says another AL front-office member who was “tired of the excuses”.

Eesh.

Without revealing much behind the paywall, Cespedes is chosen in similar landslide fashion over three of the five candidates, with one tie and one player that out-votes him.

When we opened a poll about Rasmus’ 2012 season back on January 12, 271 of you (47%) felt that he’ll hit as well as he did in 2010, with another 255 votes (44%) that he’ll be better than he was in 2010. Only 51 voters felt that Rasmus will have a sub-par season next year.

Under the same circumstances as the polled executives, though, who would you rather, Rasmus or Cespedes going forward?

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

-JM

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Tags: Colby Rasmus Toronto Blue Jays Yoenis Cespedes

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