Colby Rasmus shares skills of baseball with local kids

By Chad Dixon

It’s rare that a Major League Baseball (MLB) player is able to serve a rehab assignment an hour away from home, but Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus was afforded that opportunity on April 22. Rasmus started in left field and batted second for the Montgomery Biscuits, the AA affiliate of the Rays.  Typically, major league teams like to have rehab assignments to be at the home park of their minor league teams. With the Rays AAA team on the road, Montgomery was the likely fit as they began their series with the Mississippi Braves. 

In his first at bat, Rasmus doubled to left center off of Atlanta’s #15 prospect RHP Patrick Weigel. The Braves prevailed 8-4. On Sunday, Rasmus was hitless against the #4 ranked LHP in the minor leagues, Kolby Allard. However, the Biscuits evened the series with a 2-1 victory. 

Rasmus owns C.R. Baseball, which is a Phenix City/Smiths Station-based travel ball organization. Rasmus picked up the tab for more than 140 C.R. Baseball players and their parents to attend the game. He signed autographs for the players and let the players on the field after the game. Rasmus recently purchased a 23,000 square foot indoor facility on Cutrate Road. The day-to-day operations of the organization are run by Rasmus’ brother, Casey Rasmus, who was drafted to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011.

“I think what Colby is doing is great for the community,” he said. “Our objective is to give kids the best teaching possible to chase their dreams and play at the next level whether that be Auburn, Alabama or anywhere else. We are very specific about who we hire as coaches, as we want the kids to have the best training possible.”

C.R. Baseball was founded in July 2015 and has travel teams in age groups 7-12. Casey Rasmus stated eventually they would like to have a complex to have games at. Colby, the 28th overall pick in the 2005 draft, is looking forward to getting called up this week by the Rays. He will serve as an outfielder and designated hitter for them. In 2016, Rasmus had 20 defensive runs saved, which ranked fourth in the American League. He also would like to improve on his .206 batting average from last season. He hit 15 home runs in 2016 and has reduced his strikeout rate from 37.5 percent in 2013 to 29 percent last season.