6. RHP Drew Rasmussen
Drew Rasmussen was a first round draft pick in 2017, but didn’t sign because his drafting team, the Rays, were concerned over an elbow issue and that he would need Tommy John. He did end up needing Tommy John surgery that year, his second such operation, as he returned to Oregon State.
The Brewers then drafted Rasmussen in the 6th round as a college senior, taking a flyer on a high level talent when healthy, coming off a major injury. There was pretty much no risk in taking Rasmussen where they did, and the potential reward is quite high. So far, things are looking good.
Rasmussen was fully healthy in 2019, and he rewarded the Brewers. He earned promotions twice throughout the season, starting in Low-A Wisconsin, and earning a promotion to High-A Carolina after just one start. He started four games for Carolina, posting a 1.59 ERA in those games. Then he earned another promotion to Double-A Biloxi and spent the rest of the season there.
In Biloxi, Rasmussen had a 3.54 ERA in 22 games, 18 of them starts. Overall in his first full professional season, Rasmussen had a 3.15 ERA in 74.1 IP with 96 strikeouts.
There’s a good chance Rasmussen will start the year in Triple-A. He’s already received an invite to big league camp, and he’s really not far away from contributing at the big league level.
On the mound, Rasmussen has the best fastball in the entire Brewers farm system, regularly hitting 99 MPH, and pairs it with a plus slider that sits in the low-90s. He has a changeup as well and a sturdy delivery that will give him the necessary ingredients to stick as a starter down the road.
With two elbow surgeries already, the Brewers are going to be careful with his workload and will try not to have him throw too many innings right off the bat. There’s also a good chance Rasmussen ends up in the bullpen as a big leaguer.
One possible scenario, is that Rasmussen gets a call up during the middle of the season to the big leagues and moving to the bullpen in order to have a quicker impact, and then in 2021, he could emerge as a rotation option, two full seasons from his initial recovery from his TJS, with almost no restrictions.
The Brewers will end up finding the best future role for Rasmussen, whether that’s as a starter or a reliever. He’s on an upward trend, and could be in Milwaukee sooner rather than later.