With the 24th selection in the 2021 MLB Draft, the Braves selected RHP Ryan Cusick out of Wake Forest University.
Wake Forest baseball has gotten a fair bit of attention in recent years for their advanced analytics program and it has certainly paid dividends for their players including Jared Shuster who was a first round pick by the Braves in last year’s draft. Ryan Cusick is another Wake Forest alum that looks to continue that impressive run of talent out of Winston-Salem.
At 6’6 and 225, Cusick certainly looks the part of a starter with big time stuff and he has been just that for Wake Forest this year. The big allure with Cusick is his fastball which sits in the mid-90’s and has been in the triple digits with some amount of regularity this year. He has a breaking ball that gets high marks for its spin rate, but he hasn’t been able to command the pitch or even be consistent with it to this point. Adapting more towards a true power curve ball in the pros may be the best path forward there. He has a changeup, but has not thrown it much and it is a middling offering as of now. With some refinement and work on his changeup, Cusick could end up being a high quality starting pitcher even if there is some reliever risk in his profile.