We know what the Rays sent away in Friday’s trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, dealing a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop in Willy Adames and a swing pitcher in Trevor Richards. But what about the two guys that came the other way? What makes J.P. Feyereisen and Drew Rasmussen the right return? Let’s take a look at both pitchers.
The 28-year-old right-hander was taken in the 16th round of the 2014 draft by the Cleveland Indians after playing his college career at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He was dealt by Cleveland to the New York Yankees in the package deal for Andrew Miller in 2016, then was sent to Milwaukee in September 2019 for international prospect Brenny Escanio.
After racing through the Indians and Yankees farm systems, he found himself languishing in Triple-A, unable to take the final step to the bigs. Will Sammon of The Athletic wrote about how in 2020, with the approval of the Brewers, Feyereisen began working on a third pitch, a change-up, to go along with his fastball and slider, and has done wonder for his success.
“Feyereisen’s fastball generates an elite rise. He throws it at 94 mph. The change-up is thrown at 88 mph, similar to his slider, and generates elite depth. If all three pitches are consistently being thrown on the same trajectory, it’s a challenge for batters to be able to quickly pick up.”
Rasmussen was drafted three different times. Arizona took him in the 39th round in 2014 out of high school, then the Rays drafted him in the first round in 2017, but Rasmussen did not sign. He then got picked in the sixth round a year later by the Brewers and signed.
Rasmussen did not pitch in 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery for the second time, but raced through the farm system in 2019, playing at Low-A, High-A, and Double-A. He made his big league debut in 2020, and went 1-0 with s 5.87 ERA in 12 relief appearances.
The right-hander has been compared to Pete Fairbanks, both because of the multiple Tommy John surgeries, but also because of his strong fastball. Rasmussen’s fastball velocity averaged almost 98 MPH in 2020 and is over 97 MPH this year. He throws the fastball almost 68 percent of the time, with a slider coming over 27 percent, and a changeup and cutter about 5 percent.