Prep Baseball Report




Wake Forest
Avon Old Farms (HS) • CT
6' 6" • 225LBS
R/R • 24yr 6mo
Travel Team: North East Baseball Rays


2018 National

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2018 State

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2021 DRAFT Atlanta Braves ROUND 1 PICK


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2021 MLB DraftTied atop the leaderboard of 2021's Heat Sheet, with a max fastball velocity measured at 101 mph, Cusick is your tradtional, imposing power arm, built at a brawny 6-foot-6, 235 pounds. The fastball is very possibly this draft's best, and just about any way you slice it. It can spin at 2500+ rpm in the upper 90s, though more often in the mid 90s as he marches through a start. And while inconsistent, his 80-82 mph slurvy breaking ball has flashed serious swing-and-miss bite, and he's utilized a changeup as an average change-of-pace third offering. Strikes have been Cusick's largest obstacle, as his lack of control in college hardly improved in 2021, leading more and more scouts to label Cusick as a future reliver–though, as a high-leverage closer type.


At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds Cusick is a big, strong power right-hander in the Kyle Farnsworth mold. He has produced a max velocity of 101 mph this season and is a current co-leader of the 2021 Heat Sheet. On this recent look he flashed some 99s early, before settling into the mid-90s for much of his 95-pitch start. It’s a high-spin heater (2500+ rpm) that loudly pops the mitt. However, the pitch plays below its velocity due its predictability and its lack of command. His long levers can get out of sync which causes him to lose his release point. The Cavaliers sat fastball and took consistent strong cuts at the offering, finding many barrels when not finding ball four. Cusick was roughed up for five runs in four innings, while walking six and striking out four. His slurvy 80-82 breaking ball was inconsistent as well. After flashing an average quality, sharp biter at 80 mph in the first inning he could not find the feel for the pitch outside of a few more near-average offerings in the third. He also showed a couple low-80s changeups, but it lags behind his other two pitches at present. With heavy scouting heat watching his every move Cusick did not perform his best. It’s interesting to note that he seems to be better liked by the higher brass and analytics staff than by many area scouts. He falls on my draft board into the top tier of future pro relievers. Depending on the draft year, this loosely translates to the third round. With that said he pitched well in front of many decision makers earlier this spring and is likely to go 20 or so picks higher than where he slots for me.


Possessing one of the livelier fastballs in the draft class, Cusick’s calling card is a high-90s heater that he’s capable of running up to triple digits. That explosiveness was on display on Friday, when the righthander touched 101 mph with a first inning bolt to Louisville catcher Henry Davis. He pitched at 97-99 mph early in the start and settled into a 94-95 mph range in later innings. Although he’d periodically cast his curveball on this cold dry night, it flashed above average when he was able to stay on top of it. Despite its hard downer action and 11-5 shape, the breaker was more of a complementary offering during this start than a true out pitch. He showed a couple of firm changeups in the 87-88 mph range the third time through the lineup, but it lags behind the other two pitches at present. At 6’6”, 235-pounds, Cusick gets great extension to the plate and has a body that could eat major league innings, although his long levers occasionally got out of sync which caused him to lose his release point. Presently sitting among the national leaders in K/9 (15.29), Cusick’s combination of talent and results should warrant first-round consideration this July.


A high-profile recruit for the Demon Deacons in the fall of 2018, Cusick got his feet wet by going 7-3, 6.44 in 65.2 innings as a freshman in 2019, showing big arm strength but spotty control early in the year, then learning to pitch with less velocity later in the year. His walk rate remained high as a sophomore, but his pitchability did progress, and he finished with a 3.22 ERA in four weekend starts. Cusick certainly looked like a first-rounder in our two looks at him this summer in the Coastal Plain League. Suspect control and command has held Cusick back in the past, but he has always tantalized scouts with his physical 6-foot-6, 225-pound frame and his clean arm action from a high slot. In his CPL debut this summer, he showed the best fastball command we’ve ever seen from him, locating well to both corners and elevating effectively for swing-throughs with a high-spin-rate fastball (ranging from about 2200 rpm to 2588 rpm, and regularly topping 2400 rpm). He sat 94-95 mph in the first inning and bumped 97, then continued to work at 93-95 through three innings before dropping into the 89-91 range in the fourth. In a five-inning start later in the summer, Cusick pitched at 93-95 early and held 90-93 heat through the fifth inning, and his fastball had even more riding life, with outstanding spin rates in the 2400-2624 rpm range. His slurvish breaking ball ranges from 78-82 mph and isn’t a true out pitch at this stage, but he shows the ability to throw it for a strike to get ahead in counts and set up his heater as a putaway pitch. Sometimes he struggles to finish the pitch and misses arm-side and up with it, but the offering does flash average potential. He’s also working hard to develop his straight changeup, an 86-88 mph pitch with an appropriately low spin rate in the 1600 rpm range. It’s currently below-average to fringy with limited action, but he seems to be gaining confidence with it, and he has the aptitude to turn it into a viable weapon in the near future.


A right-hander, the delivery, is sound, stays over the rubber, separation is on time, lead leg lands slightly across body, showed the ability to pitch to the glove side. The fastball was 91-94 mph, sitting 92-93 mph, its heavy with good action to arm side on the 2-seamer. The baseball explodes out of his hand. The breaking ball was 79-81, its a hard power slurve, break continues to improve, along with the depth to it. Showed feel to changeup in the bullpen. Will be a high draft pick this spring.


Up to 95 mph, sitting 92-93 mph at the Area Code scrimmage in New Hampshire. Continues to improve as each month passes. 

Spring Season of 2017
Saw Ryan pitch against St Johns Prep, pitched 6 innings and struck out 14 hitters. Flashed 91/92 with the makings of improving secondary stuff. Ceiling and potential are through the roof.


We had a chance to see Ryan pitch during his spring campaign, and he is developing nicely. Bumped his velocity to the upper 80's, touching 90/91 numerous times. Showed the makings of a plus slider as well. The changeup is a work in progress. The frame projects and if he stays on this path, he will be a good draft out of high school.

Long and lanky right-hander who shows a huge amount of promise. The arm is quick and he pitches from a slightly lower than 3/4 arm slot. The fastball has serious life to it, touched 86. The slider is short and sat at 71. The changeup needs better rotation to it, but the arm speed remains the same, sat at 76. The delivery has crossfire to it. This leads to him having trouble get all the way out front with his ball hand. A slight tweak of his foot alignment will allow his stuff to come out. The front side is stable and the body posture is very good.  Arm is good enough to pitch anywhere in the country.

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