8. Ryan Cusick
Personal Rank: 12
Ryan Cusick was traded to the Oakland Athletics in the deal to acquire Matt Olson.
That deal happened as I was starting the Cusick section. I decided to leave him in to not mess with the formatting of the article. Also, to highlight what prospects the Braves gave up to get this deal done.
That is why there are updated ranks under everyone’s name for this section. There will be an updated top 30 prospect list soon to reflect the changes to the system after the deal.
I will provide a quicker write up for Cusick than normal.
The 1st-round selection out of Wake Forest featured what was considered the best fastball in the entire 2021 draft class. It regularly touches triple digits and Cusick relies on it heavily.
He also has a slider that is vicious. He just cannot always control it. Control is a big issue with Cusick and will be one of the issues he needs to fix if he is to become a reliable major league arm.
He struck out 50.7% of batters in Augusta. He was a college arm facing Low-A batters, but that still is an impressive number that pops off the page.
He needs a third pitch, preferably a changeup. If he can develop one that can be serviceable, it really changes how he is viewed as a prospect.
I was a little lower on him that most but still see the great potential in this arm. I also see reliever risk, and that keeps him lower in rankings for me.
Fangraphs slots Cusick in at number 8 for the Oakland Athletics.