Ryan Cusick did not have a warm welcome when it came to the start of his time with the Oakland A’s. He was part of the return for Matt Olson, a trade that was incredibly unpopular when it was made. The return seemed dramatically underwhelming, even if there were some intriguing pieces sent to Oakland.
Although Shea Langeliers has received most of the attention for his emergence, other pieces of that trade deserve notice. Cusick is one of those players, especially as he is considered to have the best fastball in the A’s system.
Dominant fastball could lead to fast track for Ryan Cusick
It is easy to see why scouts would love his fastball based on the radar gun. Rated as a plus-plus offering, Cusick’s fastball sits in the upper 90s and can reach triple digits. Add in his high spin rate on the pitch, leading to strong riding action, and the fastball has a chance to be an impressive weapon.
That fastball has also led to questions about his future. While he can reach triple digits as a starter, is is fair to assume he would regularly hit 100 MPH in a relief role. Cusick does have another potential plus offering in his slider, a pitch that he focused on last year that took major steps forward.
As it is, Cusick does have two other pitchers – a curve that he used as his top secondary pitch in college and a developing changeup. However, both offerings are considered to be average at best. How those pitches develop will make a major difference in his future – especially since his fastball/slider combo could make him the long term answer as the A’s closer.
Ryan Cusick has impressed with his fastball during his short professional career. That high octane offering is considered the best fastball in the Oakland A’s system.