Fan’s opinion: Trade Colby Rasmus already

Colby Rasmus(notes), the top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization since the 2005 amateur draft, is begging to be traded. As the trade deadline looms for Major League Baseball on July 31, the Cardinals front office needs to be aggressively trying to find someone who can fill in for the center fielder.

The Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners are supposedly looking in to getting Rasmus, even though he's had disagreements with his coaches. In September of 2010, in the middle of the Cardinals' late-season meltdown, Rasmus asked to be traded.

Manager Tony LaRussa wouldn't have any of it last season. Now, the skipper says Rasmus doesn't listen to his coaches.

"He doesn't listen to the Cardinal coaches much now, and that's why he gets in these funks, in my opinion. If we would just stay with [basically] what they teach, he would have… but I actually feel concern for him, because he hears it from so many places, he's got to be confused," LaRussa told

These comments came after a 3-1 victory against the lowly Houston Astros at Busch Stadium. Just hours after the coaching comment, rumors swirled that the Cardinals were shopping Rasmus around the league despite assertions earlier in the season they were keeping him.

Rasmus is a young player who apparently has his own ideas about how to play baseball. He has a .246 average and just three errors so far this year. It's not his fielding that coaches are worried about; it must be what he does in the batter's box. He hit .276 last year, but now he's below .250. He's got 77 strikeouts and only 83 hits. He was worse last year—148 strikeouts and 128 hits.

Those kinds of hitting stats, for an outfielder, are a death knell. The job of an outfielder is to catch balls and hit well. Rasmus is doing one but not the other. He would be a better hitter if he listened to his coaches. Rasmus has got to learn to be more patient at the plate and choose his pitches.

The problem is that he came up from the minor leagues too quickly. Even though Rasmus was drafted in 2005, perhaps he needed more time to develop. He did well in AA Springfield with 130 hits and 108 strikeouts to go along with 72 RBIs. When Rasmus moved up to Memphis in 2008, he had 83 hits and 72 strikeouts in 90 games.

Although he got a lot of hits versus the games he played in Memphis, Rasmus needed to develop a better feel for what it takes to excel at the plate. That's the fault of the Cardinals organization for not keeping him in minor league system longer. Rasmus simply needs a dose of humble pie—does he really think any other coaches will go easy on him?

So, do it already. Trade the young pup so he can grow to be a warrior. The Cardinals have a division to win without any clubhouse problems.

We are Cardinal Nation.

William Browning was born in St. Louis and is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. He currently resides in Branson, Mo .

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Updated Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011