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The Season that Was: Colby Rasmus

A look at Colby Rasmus' 2014 season.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Colby Rasmus came into this season following his best season ever, the season that was supposed to be the turning point to his career. He was going to become the star we all hoped he'd become.

Not that there wasn't some worrying shadows. In 2013 Colby finally had found a batting coach that spoke his language. Someone that understood him and found a way to unlock the potential that was so annoyingly just out of reach. Then, at the end of the season, that coach was let go. We maybe should have seen that as a bad sign.

I didn't.

In the community projection post I guessed that Colby would  play

145 games, 25 home runs, 80 RBI, and a 270/.333/.475 line. And about 10 insulting tweets from Jon Morosi.

I was off by a country mile.

Year    Tm   G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA   OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2014   TOR 104 346 45 78 21  1 18  40   4  0   29 124  .225  .287  .448 .735  104

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Fangraphs had him at a 0.6 WAR. down from 4.8 in 2013, giving him a value of $3.4 million to the Jays. Baseball Reference was a little nicer to Colby, giving him a 0.9 WAR.

He had a .321 wOBA and a 103 wRC+.

Compared to 2013, Colby walked less (7.7%, down from 8.1) and struck out more (33.0%, up from 29.5%). He hit more line drives (23.3% up from 22.0%), more ground balls (34.2%, up from 33.0) and fewer fly balls (42.5%, down from 45.0%). More of his fly balls left the park (19.4%, up from 17.3).

His BABIP was .294, way down from his .356 of 2013, but right near his career number of.298.

Colby, as usual, hit better vs. RHP (.236/.285/.467( than LHP (.195/.293/.391).

He hit much better on the road (.246/.302/.513) than at home (.201/.270/.371).

Colby was terrible with RISP, hitting .154/.267/.308.

He was better in the second half of the season (.245/.316/.441) than in he first half (.212/.266/.453).

By month Colby hit:

April: .194/.242/.387, with 4 home runs and 7 RBI in 26 games.

May: .286/.318.714, with 5 home runs and 12 RBI in 11 games.

June: .238/.304/.429, with 2 home runs and 7 RBI in 12 games.

July: .197/.288/.380. with 3 home runs and 7 RBI in 23 games.

August: .247/.312/.412, with 2 home runs and 4 RBI in 23 games.

September: .231/.286/.692, with 2 home runs and 3 RBI in 9 games (just 1 start).

He went on the DL in mid-May coming back to the team in mid-June. It really is too bad, he was hitting very well just before the injury. Maybe he could have kept that going, if he could have stayed in the lineup.

Defense? His defense looked so good in 2013. He had a 15.2 UZR/150. He had almost the exact same number in 2014 but with a negative sign in front of it, -15.3. I don't know how he could go from such good defense, to such awful defense in a season. He only had 1 error this year, after 4 and he had 3 assists this year after just 1 last year, but his range just disappeared. I don't know why. Maybe he took his offensive troubles into the field with him.

Fangraphs had him at 1.1 runs better than the average base runner. He stole 4 bases without being caught.

His favorite team to face? I'm going to cheat, Colby hit very well against NL teams. In 15 inter-league games, Rasmus hit .358/.414/.849.

Least favorite? Well he was 0 for 7 with a walk in 2 games vs. the A's. He hit .067/.125/.067 in 5 games (1 single, 1 walk) against the Angels.

His longest hitting streak was 9 games (with 5 home runs in those 9 games), running from May 1 to May 9. Unfortunately, 2 days later he went on the DL. He had a 5 game hitting streak when he came off the DL. His longest hitless streak was 6 games.

Apparently he was offered in trade to two different teams during the off-season, trying to get pitching in return. In hindsight, we really should have traded him. Unfortunately, we didn't know that we would have been trading high at that time.

I like Colby. He does seem to want to have fun. He did the Blue Jay winter tour, leaving his nice warm home home to curl and play outside in a very cold Canadian winter and he looked like it was having a great time. We didn't see him having fun enough.

I tend to think of him as a simple guy, but he isn't. He's pretty damn complex. Listening to his interview with Scott MacArthur, at the end of the season, was tough to do.

I think it is safe to say that Rasmus was depressed. He was coming to games late, he was striking out a lot, he was slow on defense, and, in early September,he just wanted to go home.

This doesn't sound healthy:

"I've lost a little bit of that drive something just because so many people are always just poking and prodding at my. And I felt, at time, like an animal at the zoo. You know, you just keep poking at it until, one day, they bite back at you."

I hope Colby finds a way to be happy. I wonder if he doesn't have to leave baseball to find that happy place.

I hate people blaming parents for all their problems, because, most parents just try to do their best, and most of them are trying to overcome how their parents messed them up. But, in Colby's case, clearly his dad has messed with his head. His dad is always going to be in there and he's always going to hear his dad telling him that he isn't working hard enough or doing good enough.

I think we all have those voices in our heads, telling us we aren't good enough, most of us learn to get past them, ignore them and get on with life. Some use it to drive them to do better, "I'll show them". Colby doesn't seem to be able to do that. He remembers all the little insults and carries them with him. He still talks about his troubles with Tony LaRussa, it is easy to say he should get past it, but he can't.

I'd like that think that he is a candidate for a bounce back season, but I have no idea. I get the feeling he'll never be consistently good. I think, if he gets the chance, he'll have the odd very good season, mixed with maddening poor seasons.

A year ago it seemed like he had found a place where he was happy. I hope he can find a place like that again.