Every year, there are several players taken in the MLB Amateur Draft that do not end up signing contracts. Tampa Bay Rays second round pick Drew Rasmussen will be one of those players.
When the Tampa Bay Rays selected Drew Rasmussen with the 31st overall selection in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft, he seemed like a potential steal. Although he was ranked as 98th best prospect in the draft, that ranking was also tempered by the fact that he had Tommy John surgery the year before.
Once Rasmussen got back on the mound in April, he looked like a top prospect. The righty was touching 98 MPH with his fastball, and with two other effective pitches, he seemed to be a solid selection. However, his professional career will be delayed, as the Rays and Rasmussen were unable to agree on a contract.
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This is an unfortunate situation for the Rays. Rasmussen had the potential to be a steal based on his draft slot, someone who could help further deepen the Rays strong minor league system. Had they kept him in the bullpen, it would not have been a surprise for him to rocket through the minors.
Instead, he is likely heading back to Oregon State, where he would be a redshirt junior. As a part of what was the top ranked team in the nation, Rasmussen could see his draft stock improve even further if he proves to be healthy once again. As he posted a 3-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in those eight appearances once he came back, it seems likely that he will end up with a better draft spot.
Meanwhile, even though the Rays will not get the player they selected, they may not walk away empty handed. For their part, Tampa Bay expects to receive the same draft selection back next year as compensation for not signing Rasmussen. This may well explain why they offered him a below slot bonus, and were willing to walk away when it was turned down.
The Tampa Bay Rays will not sign Drew Rasmussen to a contract. Instead, they may end up with that same pick next year.