Today begins the journey that is my top 30 Braves prospect list. For the next 30 days, I will be counting down the list with one prospect a day, giving a report on each prospect and stacking them on this same post for easy access. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to provide feedback as we go.
30. Cory Rasmus, RHP
B/T: R/R 2011 Age: 24 Ht: 6'1" Wt: 220
2010: (A-) 20 G, 12 GS, 83 IP, 3.14 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 7.8 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
(A+) 8 G, 8 GS, 41.1 IP, 3.27 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
Perhaps more well-known as the brother of Colby Rasmus than anything, Cory Rasmus was a first-round pick by the Braves in 2006 out of a high school near Columbus, Ga. Almost immediately, Rasmus went under the knife and did not appear above the Gulf Coast until 2009, when he threw 51.2 innings for Danville and posted a 3.48 ERA with 57 strikeouts.
It was not until 2010 when we had a full season to look at Rasmus. He began the season at A- Rome, where he minimized his walks and hits allowed and maintained a 3.53 FIP. His strikeout rate coming off injury and facing tougher competition was worth looking at, and he maintained a good enough rate to succeed. He earned a promotion to Myrtle Beach to end the season, where his numbers dropped a good bit, including a 4.43 FIP and a much lower strikeout rate. But it was only 41 innings, which is pretty small to consider.
Rasmus' many delays by injuries have set him back in development. His stuff is said to be a notch below what it was, though his strikeout rates remain decent enough at this point. We will not really know the truth of this until he faces higher competition. Despite being a first-round pick, his prospect status is on the verge of being up in the air due to injury history, and it will take a couple seasons of full health to earn his way back into the higher ranks for me.
Rasmus has a strong arm that results in a strong fastball that works in the low-to-mid-90s, but his main pitch is a power curve. When the curve is on, Rasmus racks up strikeouts with ease. Despite slowing down due to injuries, he will only be 23 during the 2011 season, so if he stays healthy he will remain on track.
Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) Health 2)Strikeouts 3) Arm Strength & Stamina
Destination in 2011: Majority at A+; possible late promotion to AA
ETA: Late 2012 or 2013
Ceiling: #3-5 Starter
My Prediction: #5 Starter or Solid Reliever