Rasmussen established himself on Oregon State's pitching staff as a freshman and continued to throw well in early 2016 before requiring Tommy John surgery in March. He pitched well enough when he returned in April 2017 that the Rays took him with the No. 31 pick that June, but the two sides failed to reach an agreement, with the Rays citing discrepancies between the right-hander’s pre- and post-Draft MRIs. A second TJ surgery in the fall wiped out Rasmussen’s entire 2018 season with the Beavers, but the Brewers were optimistic about his chances of making a full recovery and signed him for $135,000 as their sixth-round pick. He made a full recovery and then some in 2019, flashing high-octane stuff while climbing three levels up to Double-A in his pro debut.
Rasmussen showed all the components needed to become an impactful Major League pitcher in 2019 even as the Brewers carefully managed his pitch count and workload. His fastball registers in the mid-to-upper 90s with riding life that enables him to beat hitters inside the zone. He pairs his heater with a hard slider at 88-91 mph, while his changeup in the upper 80s gives him another very effective secondary offering, albeit with room for improvement. Rasmussen’s feel for pitching post-surgery has been as sharp as his stuff, and he impressed with his ability to both throw strikes (3.8 BB/9) and generate whiffs (11.6 K/9).
With three effective pitches and a starter's delivery, Rasmussen has the ingredients to be effective in the role so long as he stays healthy. But after two elbow surgeries, it's fair to wonder whether the right-hander might ultimately end up in the bullpen, where his stuff stands to play up and he has the potential to reach the Majors at an accelerated pace. The Brewers will continue to develop Rasmussen as a starter in 2020, with the goal of having him total 100-110 innings. Yet, the club is quick to acknowledge that plan could change given the right-hander’s undeniable bullpen potential and proximity to the big leagues.