The A’s got a blue-chip pitching prospect in their Matt Olson haul from the Braves in 6-foot-6 flame-throwing right-hander Ryan Cusick.
Cusick ranked No. 215 on our RotoProspects Top 500 Rankings before the trade, but rises to No. 205 due to the move to Oakland’s cavernous ballpark. He goes from the Braves’ No. 8 prospect to No. 5 on the A’s list, behind only one other pitcher in J.T. Ginn, also acquired this week in the Chris Bassitt trade.
The Braves selected Cusick 24th overall in the 2021 draft out of Wake Forest, where he featured maybe the best fastball in the draft class. That fastball sits in the upper-90s and has touched 102, making it a plus-plus pitch.
He dominated in his first pro season, striking out a whopping 34 Low-A batters in 16 IP (18.7 K/9) with a 2.76 ERA and just a 2.2 BB/9. Control wasn’t his thing in college, so if he can keep those gains as he rises through the ranks, Cusick could reach the top 100 by season’s end.
There’s plenty of room to dream on a 100-mph fastball from a massive 235-pounder in pitcher-friendly Oakland. Scouts peg Cusick with mid-rotation potential, but we can see a chance to be even better than that so fantasy owners should be on alert.