Robert Paul Rasmussen
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 5' 10", Weight 170 lb.
- School University of California, Los Angeles
- High School Polytechnic School (Pasadena)
- Debut May 20, 2014
- Final Game September 30, 2015
- Born April 2, 1989 in Pasadena, CA USA
Rob Rasmussen is a left-handed pitcher who has been part of a number of organizations. His uncle Neil Rasmussen was a first-round draft pick.
Rob led all Southern Californian high school pitchers in wins in 2004 despite being a freshman - he won 13 games and had a 1.79 ERA with 96 K in 62 2/3 IP. He also hit .385. As a sophomore, he was even sharper at 9-1, 1.40 with 147 strikeouts (leading the entire state). He reduced his ERA to .56 as a junior and hit .333. His senior year, he had a 12-0, 0.33 record with 200 K in 86 innings. He tossed four shutouts and had a 20-K game. He hit .455 with 32 RBI and 21 walks as well. He was named third-team All-American by Baseball America. He was first drafted out of his high school in Pasadena, CA by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2007 amateur draft.
He decided to attend UCLA instead, going 0-2 with a 5.60 ERA and missing time with a foot injury. That summer, he had a 4-3, 4.12 record for the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod League. In 2009, the sophomore was 4-2 with a 6.75 ERA for UCLA, fanning 51 but walking 26 in 44 2/3 innings. He improved to 4-0, 1.80 with 42 K in 35 innings and a .197 opponent average for the '09 Orleans Firebirds, putting him 8th in the Cape Cod League in ERA. Baseball America listed him as the #16 prospect in the circuit, between Austin Wates and Gary Brown. He had a strong junior year for UCLA at 11-3, 2.72 with 128 K in 109 1/3 IP. He was 4th in the Pacific-10 Conference in ERA. Nationally, he tied for 13th in NCAA Division I in wins, was 9th in strikeouts and 33rd in ERA. On a team with very high first-round picks Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer (1st and 3rd overall), Rasmussen got the call in the 2010 College World Series finale. He did his share, tossing six shutout innings against the University of South Carolina and was beating Michael Roth. His bullpen failed to hold on, though, and UCLA lost, 2-1, in extra innings. He was again drafted in 2010, this time in the second round, by the Florida Marlins. The scout was Tim McDonnell. He signed for a bonus just under $500,000.
Rasmussen began his professional career with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League in 2010. he pitched 5 times in relief with a 1.35 ERA. In 2011, he was assigned to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League and had a very solid season as a full-time starter, going 12-10, 3.64 in 148 1/3 innings. He struck out 118 and walked 71. He was among the FSL leaders in wins (third behind Julio Rodriguez and Jared Wesson), ERA (9th, between Trevor May and Eric Fortunato) and walks (2nd, 10 behind teammate Edgar Olmos). He also tied Tom Koehler for the most wins by a Marlins farmhand.
In spite of his good numbers, he returned to Jupiter at the start of 2012. After 16 starts, he was 4-7, 3.90, but had struck out 75 against 36 walks in 87 2/3 innings. On July 4th, he was traded to the Houston Astros along with Matt Dominguez in return for veteran slugger Carlos Lee. He finished that season by going 4-4, 4.80 in 11 games for the Corpus Christi Hooks for a combined total of 8-11, 4.25. After the season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 12th, in return for pitcher John Ely.
The Dodgers put Rasmussen in AAA to begin the 2013 season, with the Albuquerque Isotopes, but things did not go well for the young pitcher. He was 0-7, 6.46 after 12 appearances before being demoted back to AA and the Chattanooga Lookouts. He did much better there, with a record of 3-4, 2.55, in 16 games before being involved in his third major league trade in a little over a year on August 31st. That day, the Dodgers sent him to the Philadelphia Phillies in return for veteran infielder Michael Young. He never got to play in the Phillies' organization, however, as the minor league season was already over. On December 3rd, he was once again involved in a trade, this time going to the Toronto Blue Jays along with major league back-up catcher Erik Kratz in return for P Brad Lincoln. Sent to the Buffalo Bisons at the start of 2014, he went 0-1, 2.65 in 13 games before getting the call to the Show when rookie Marcus Stroman was demoted.
It was with the Toronto Blue Jays that Rasmussen made his major league debut on May 20, 2014, facing the Boston Red Sox. He replaced Dustin McGowan with one out in the 7th and the Jays leading, 7-4. He retired the dangerous David Ortiz on a ground ball and then gave way to Steve Delabar. He made 10 appearances for Toronto in 2014 and did pretty well, with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings, during which he allowed 8 hits and 7 walks while striking out 13. With Buffalo, he had a 2.72 ERA in 35 games and 43 inninghs, but only 3 decisions: a win, a loss and a save. In 2015, he pitched 34 times for Buffalo, going 4-1, 2.36, and once with Toronto, where he did not allow a run in his only inning of work. On July 31st, he was traded again, this time to the Seattle Mariners along with Jake Brentz and Nick Wells, in return for experienced major league reliever Mark Lowe.
He retired in 2016 to return to school to pursue a Masters in Business Administration.