Acquired from the Braves for Scott Downs, Cory Rasmus may not be able to crack the Angels' Opening Day bullpen, but he has cracked our top prospect list. Will we get to see more of him in Anaheim in 2014 or will he be banished to Salt Lake until he can work out his command issues?
Position: RP Highest Level: MLB
Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6'0" Weight: 200
Age: 26 Born: 11/6/1987
2013 Rank: Unranked
2013 Season Stats
AAA: 46.1 IP, 3-1, 1.94 ERA, 26 H, 27 BB, 2 HR, 56 SO, 40.4 GB%, 3.16 FIP, .261 BABIP
MLB: 21.2 IP, 1-1, 5.40 ERA, 24 H, 13 BB, 6 HR, 20 SO, 30.4 GB%, 6.60 FIP, .281 BABIP
Fastball = B+
Rasmus is a run of the mill Angel reliever in his ability to bring it. Sciosica has proven across his lengthy tenure that he just loves late inning relievers that can bring the heat. Rasmus has been clocked at as high as 98 mph but generally sits 93-95 with a fair amount of downward movement on the pitch despite not being necessarily tall. He doesn’t hide the pitch necessarily well and doesn’t come at an awkward angel. It’s a simple “mid-90’s fastball, see if you can hit it” type.
Offspeed Pitches = B
Rasmus’ off-speed pitches are a little less clear than his fastball. We know for sure he throws a very good curveball. It’s not the traditional 12-6 break but it has depth, a sharp bite to it and he keeps it in the zone. What we aren’t sure about, however, is his other offspeed pitch. I’ve been told before that it’s a two-seamer, a sinker and a change. Whatever it is, the pitch sits in the mid-to-high 80’s and has some serious cutting movement that comes in on lefties when thrown above belt-high and can dive down at the ankles of righties when kept low. There isn’t a sharp break to the pitch, but it does serve the role of changeup given that it’s 8-10 mph softer than his fastball with a different movement. I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as a good pitch as much as I’d say it’s just a different look that keeps hitters from keying on his dynamic fastball-curve combo.
Control = D
Like many Angels relief prospects, Rasmus has a hard time putting the ball in the strike zone. And also like every other Angels relief prospect I’ll say that if Rasmus can throw strikes, he’ll be successful in the major leagues. Oddly enough, the pitch he can throw for a strike the most often is his curveball, which bodes well for future use as a fastball should be the easiest pitch to get over. Rasmus owns a career 4.2 BB/9 in the minor leagues and that number is legitimized by the fact that’s it has crept closer to 5 as he’s reached AAA. Clearly, there are some adjustments needed.
Command = D
Logically, if a pitcher has a hard time throwing a strike, he’ll also have a hard time putting the ball specifically where it needs to be. But again, Rasmus, though extremely typical in his stuff and approach isn’t exactly typical as a reliever. He’s still learning the nuances of being a reliever versus a starter as much of his minor league career was spent either as a starter or on rehab from multiple shoulder surgeries. So there is considerable hope that Rasmus will develop some sort of idea of where his pitches are going. And to make this pot even more confusing, Rasmus can control his curveball and place it pretty much wherever he wants. Usually, it’s the other way around.
Mechanics = C
If he were to use this delivery as a starter, I’d hate it and tell you right off the bat he places way too much stress on his shoulder and doesn’t use his lower body enough or even leverage his torso enough to take some of the stress off his shoulder. It’s basically like Garrett Richards’ delivery, minus the use of aforementioned torso and lower body to remove stress on the shoulder and help propel the ball toward home plate. Rasmus seems like he just muscles the ball up there in the mid-90’s. This, however, isn’t necessarily problematic because he’s a reliever and relievers don’t need sparkling mechanics to carve out a role in the majors. They just need to get outs in crucial situations and Rasmus is an expert at getting the swing-and-miss type of out.