Braves: First-round pick Ryan Cusick has been dominating in Augusta

Ian Mejia

As usual, there were some critics of Alex Anthopoulos’ first round choice on draft night. If you think back to 2020, Anthopoulos was questioned for taking a Wake Forest pitcher with his first round pick in Jared Shuster. Well, that 2020 class as a whole is dominating — and Shuster looks pretty good so far. Flash forward to 2021, and media pundits were saying Anthopoulos reached on another Wake Forest arm in Ryan Cusick. So far, Anthopoulos is showing he knows what he is doing once again, albeit in a small sample size.

Now, the sample size may be minuscule, but one of my followers — @davis_battle — was at the game and updating me on Cusick. He said that he was touching 99 mph with ease, something the Braves were very attracted to during the draft process. Neither of Cusick’s runs were earned last night, and he has made mincemeat of Low-A hitters since joining the Braves:

 

Cusick (2021): 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 15 K, .207 BA, .510 OPS, 1.13 WHIP, 16.88 K/9

 

Four of the hits Cusick has given up came last night, but he is flashing the upside that made him worth a first-round draft pick. I have no reason not to trust Alex Anthopoulos with his track record so far. The Braden Shewmake pick was criticized at the time, and he has become a top hitting prospect in all of baseball. Jared Shuster looks like a potential starter of the future with a 1.04 WHIP over 52.2 innings in Rome. I’m excited to see how this class develops, especially with all five picks from 2020 playing so well early on. Cusick will be a big part of that success.

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