Born: Aug 11, 1986
A former first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2005, the native of Columbus, GA, carried high expectations and finished eighth in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2009. Traded to Toronto after three seasons, the outfielder had trouble hitting for high average although he displayed above-average power. Released as a free agent, Rasmus signed with the Astros on a one-year contract for 2015. He batted .238 that year with 25 homers and 61 RBIs while leading the Astros to their first postseason in a decade. He also got hot in the playoffs, batting .412 with four homers as Houston defeated the Yankees before falling to Kansas City in the divisional round.
The Astros made a qualifying offer to Rasmus after the season, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) guidelines of that period, in hopes of adding another upper-level draft pick if he signed elsewhere. No free agent had ever accepted a qualifying offer but the bid represented a $7.8 million raise to Rasmus who accepted it and became an expensive albatross in 2016. He hit .206 with 15 homers in 107 games.
Released the next winter, he finished his career with Tampa Bay and Baltimore. For his 10-year career, Rasmus compiled a .241 overall average with 166 homers, 491 RBIs and a .745 OPS.