RASMUSSEN'S KNOWLEDGE, WORK ETHIC REWARDED Mt. Spokane High Product Drew Early Call from Rays

By Thorpe, Jacob | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), June 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

RASMUSSEN'S KNOWLEDGE, WORK ETHIC REWARDED Mt. Spokane High Product Drew Early Call from Rays


Thorpe, Jacob, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)


When talent and an unmatched work ethic merge, great things can happen.

And they have for former Greater Spokane League standout Drew Rasmussen, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays 31st overall in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday.

Rasmussen, who stood 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and could throw a fastball in the mid-90s as a senior at Mt. Spokane, is undeniably gifted. He's put on 15 pounds since moving on to star for Oregon State.

But according to his high school coach Alex Schuerman, it is Rasmussen's work ethic that turned him into an elite college pitcher and professional prospect.

"I think it's fair to say he's the hardest worker I've ever coached," Schuerman said. "I can honestly say he's not the most athletic kid I've coached. But from a baseball savvy standpoint, the kid is off the charts."

Schuerman recalled being impressed by Rasmussen's baseball IQ even before coaching him, when he would attend baseball camps at Mt. Spokane as a kid and ask pointed questions of the coaching staff that revealed a deep understanding of the game.

Rasmussen has excelled at Oregon State, where the No. 1-ranked Beavers are a favorite to win their first College Baseball World Series since 2007. The redshirt sophomore is a co-captain and sports a 0.86 ERA and 3-0 record over six appearances, four of which were starts.

He got a late start to the season, having missed 13 months of ball while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Rasmussen became the first pitcher in school history to throw a perfect game as a freshman in 2015, doing so in the fourth start of his college career.

"His game never stops getting better," Schuerman said. "He went from a sophomore on our staff who threw in the low 80s, until his senior year he was hitting 94. He works so hard and develops his other pitches, rather than relying on the fact he can throw hard."

Now Rasmussen's heater hits 97 mph and if he keeps improving on the same trajectory he has since he was a kid in Spokane, he could rapidly rise through the Rays' system and be on a major league field before long.

GONZAGA HAS PAIR DRAFTED ON FINAL DAY

Two more Gonzaga baseball players were selected on the final day of the draft on Wednesday as Tyler Frost and Jeff Bohling both went early in the day.

In the 15th round, the Chicago White Sox selected Frost, a junior outfielder, with the 12th pick of the frame. …

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