Drew Rasmussen Makes A Strong Impression
When the Brewers initially assembled 45 players for their summer camp at Miller Park, one name stood out prominently on the list: Drew Rasmussen.
The 25-year-old righthander had by far the least pro experience of any of the campers, with a mere 27 appearances since being drafted in the sixth round in 2018 from Oregon State. But that’s how much the Brewers thought of Rasmussen, who regularly pitches in the upper 90s with his fastball and sometimes touches 100 mph.
Rasmussen had not one but two Tommy John surgeries during his time in college, thus nixing a chance to sign with the Rays in 2017 as the 31st overall pick. Since then he has shown the kind of determination and maturity that you can’t teach.
Always thinking ahead, the 6-foot-1, 211-pound righthander bought a 27-foot camper trailer and headed to Milwaukee from Oregon for camp with his fiancée, figuring they’d have a place to live even if he was assigned to the Brewers’ alternate training site in Appleton, Wis.
“It’s pretty nice,” Rasmussen told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I easily fit in the shower, and the bathroom’s pretty good size. It’s perfect for two people. Basically, it makes moving easier. You can just hook up and go."
Rasmussen, who advanced as far as Double-A Biloxi in his pro debut in 2019, eventually was sent to the Brewers’ alternate training site, but he certainly made an impression during intrasquad competition at Miller Park, striking out five of the six hitters he faced in his final appearance.
Moving to the alternate site allowed Rasmussen to continue to work on his craft and get additional coaching that wasn’t available to other minor leaguers when their seasons were canceled.
“He’s got a big arm, but there’s development left there that’s really important,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “This is a season that’s going to cost him some development, right? He’s going to start the year in Appleton, and we’ll try to do our best to get him on the mound a lot.”
— Shortstop/second baseman Luis Urias, a key offseason acquisition from the Padres, missed the entire summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19. He was asymptomatic and later was assigned to the alternate training site, with hopes of getting him to the big leagues as soon as possible.
— Shortstop Brice Turang and lefthander Ethan Small, two of the Brewers' top three prospects, were among a young group of players assigned to the alternate training site merely to give them some developmental work and coaching with the minor league season canceled.