MLB Pipeline announced a change to their list of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Top 30 prospects today. With Adrian Houser graduating from Milwaukee’s list, a pitcher who has been moving swiftly through the Brewers minor leagues took his place.
Drew Rasmussen finds himself at #15 in his initial placement on to MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Milwaukee Brewers prospects. Fans who closely follow the team’s top prospects have probably noticed Rasmussen’s ascent up the minor league system and likely are not surprised. For those who haven’t, a look into his history offers perspective as to how he got here so quickly.
Third team’s a charm
The Milwaukee Brewers were actually not the first team to draft Rasmussen.
The Arizona Diamondbacks first drafted him in the 39th round of the 2014 draft but he chose to attend Oregon State instead. While there, he threw the only perfect game in Oregon State baseball history.
The Tampa Bay Rays drafted him next with the 31st overall pick of the 2017 draft even though the right-hander was coming off of Tommy John surgery. He did return to pitch for the Beavers before being drafted, but the injury concerns turned out to be too much and the two sides were unable to come to a contract agreement. Rasmussen returned to the draft pool for 2018.
The Rays’ concerns were not unfounded – Rasmussen would end up having a second Tommy John surgery. That was not enough to dissuade the Milwaukee Brewers. Confident he would bounce back from the injury, and knowing he would have to sit out until 2019, the Brewers became the third team to draft Rasmussen. They selected the former first-round talent in the sixth round of the 2018 draft.
Moving right along
Finally healthy, Rasmussen was assigned to the Low-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at the beginning of the year. His debut came in an April 12th game that was actually played in Miller Park where he started and pitched two innings, giving up just a hit while striking out three. That would be his only appearance for Wisconsin as he would be promoted to the High-A Carolina Mudcats just four days later.
Rasmussen continued to impress while with the Mudcats. In four games, he tossed 11 1/3 innings, and gave up just two runs, seven hits, and two walks. That was good for a 1.59 ERA and a 0.794 WHIP. Add 16 strikeouts and it wasn’t hard to imagine what would come next: another promotion, this time to the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers.
Even up two levels from where he started, Rasmussen has been just as effective at limiting runs. After giving up one earned run in the top of the second inning of his first appearance with Biloxi, Rasmussen hasn’t given up any runs since. That scoreless streak has spanned 13 innings across that game and three more games since.
All things said, Rasmussen is currently sitting on a shiny 0.99 ERA in 27 1/3 innings across those three stops combined. He has a 0.915 WHIP, 32 strikeouts to just eight walks, and a 10.5 K/9. According to Josh Norris of Baseball America, he achieves this with a three-pitch arsenal.
"His fastball consistently sits in the mid 90s and has touched 99 multiple times, according to scouts. He complements the pitch with a changeup and a slider that each settle in the 89-91 range. He shows excellent command with all three pitches and can get whiffs in or out of the zone."
That sounds like the type of arsenal of a pitcher who could flourish in either a starting or relief role. For now, the Milwaukee Brewers are probably content to continue seeing what they have in the 23-year-old pitcher coming off of two Tommy John surgeries. Either way, the results are starting to make him more of a household name among Brewer fans.
Rasmussen’s next start sets up to be on Friday May 31st against the Tennessee Smokies if the current rotation holds true. Perhaps another scoreless outing is in his future. Whether this year or not, another promotion most certainly will be as well.