Former Toledo right-handed pitcher Lincoln Rassi has signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent following the completion of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.Rassi becomes the second Rocket to continue his playing career, joining right-handed pitcher Mike Hamann, who was selected in the 16th round of the MLB Draft (494th overall pick) by the Chicago Cubs.
Together, the duo helped Toledo claim its first Mid-American Conference West Division title in school history in 2012. The Rockets’ 19-8 (.704) MAC record equaled their best mark since the conference went to three-game series prior to the 2004 campaign. Overall this spring, UT sported a 30-27 mark, registering its second 30-win season under Head Coach Cory Mee. Toledo also secured a spot in the MAC Tournament for a school-record fourth-consecutive season.
A four-year letterwinner, Rassi compiled a 3-1 record with a 1.53 earned-run average and a team-tying best four saves in 19 relief appearances this spring, yielding seven runs (six earned) on 24 hits with 43 strikeouts in 35.1 innings of work. The 2012 first-team All-MAC selection finished tied for ninth in the league in saves.
In MAC games, Rassi led the league in opponent batting average (.170, 17 for 100), as well as tied for first in ERA (1.29) and tied for sixth in saves (4) and total appearances (12). The Goshen, Ind., native was nearly unhittable down the stretch this spring and gave up only three runs (two earned) on 16 hits with 31 strikeouts over his final 13 appearances, covering 27.1 innings of work (April 4-May 24).
Picked as the eighth-best MAC prospect for the 2012 MLB Draft by Baseball America, Rassi wrapped up his collegiate career tied for first in UT annals in games started (16, 2011) and tied for eighth in saves (4, 2012) in the single-season record book.
Rassi also becomes the second Rocket to be a current member of the Kansas City Royals organization. Mitch Maier (2001-03) was chosen by the Royals with the 30th pick of the first round in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft. The three-time first-team All-MAC recipient has been in the major leagues in six of the last seven seasons.