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Fox names Rasmus as 2011 breakout candidate

Fox Sports predicts that Cardinals centerfield Colby Rasmus will make the step from prospect to contributor in the upcoming season.

He was named as one of five candidates likely to have a breakout season by the network's Fox Sports Arizona's affiliate. The others on the list are Atlanta pitcher Craig Kimbrel, Diamondbacks hurler Daniel Hudson, Reds outfielder Jay Bruce and Giants southpaw Madison Baumgarner.

"Rasmus has as much potential as any player in baseball, a curse he had a difficult time living with in his first two major league seasons," Fox Arizona writer Jack Macgruder wrote. "A five-tool centerfielder, Rasmus went so far as to ask for a trade last season, a request that rankled team leader Albert Pujols but also one that the Cardinals were not willing to grant because of Rasmus' incredible upside.

"Rasmus took a step forward in every offensive category in 2010, finishing with 23 home runs and 12 stolen bases," Macgruder continued. "If there is a player capable of making a Carlos Gonzalez-type jump, he is the guy."

It would be nice to see Rasmus make that sort of leap. It seems, up to this point, that he has been trying to rely on his talent without a real good idea of what he wants to do at the plate or in the field.

If Rasmus can make a significant leap in the focus department, he could really be something. He has that special quality that makes the ball jump off of his bat. It's just a matter of making solid contact a little more often at the plate and of refining his skills in the field.