Toronto Blue Jays: Draft Targets 2.0: Pitcher’s Edition
Ryan Cusick: RHP Wake Forest – #19 on MLB Pipeline
Another flame thrower anyone?
The Blue Jays have several power arms both on their big league roster and in their farm system with the likes of Nate Pearson, Jordan Romano, Yosver Zulueta, and Julian Merryweather all having a big fastball that can touch triple digits.
Ryan Cusick’s heater is as good as any of the aforementioned names. The Wake Forest product received a 70-grade fastball from MLB Pipeline and for good reason, as it sits around 94-97mph and reportedly touched 102mph this past fall.
Cusick can maintain his velocity deep into games and has a high spin rate which makes his fastball heavy and gives it late life. The Massachusetts native has a great build, standing at 6”6’ and weighing in at 235 pounds, but does seem to use a lot of effort in his delivery which could lead to health issues down the road.
Despite having an elite fastball, Cusick is by no means a finished product and looks to be more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point in his career. The hard-throwing righty doesn’t have great command and struggles to throw strikes consistently, allowing 72 free passes in just 146.2 college innings.
Cusick doesn’t possess an above-average offspeed pitch yet, though his curveball was a good “out” pitch for him in college, it appeared to be a bit loopy and doesn’t have that tight break you like to see. Professional hitters may have an easier time picking it up because of this, which could make it less effective in the minors.
Cusick also hasn’t had great success against college competition, posting a 5.03 career ERA, with it sitting just over 4 this season. This is mainly due to his lack of command which will definitely have to be ironed out if he is going to succeed once he turns pro.
Despite the lack of command and polish, scouts are high on Cusick because of the velocity he possesses and the strike-out potential he’s shown. Someone is going to take a shot on Cusick in the first round. If the Blue Jays feel comfortable with taking on a project and fall in love with raw stuff, then I think that Ryan Cusick could be an intriguing selection this July.