Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Jack Cust Report

Jack Cust, OF, Oakland Athletics
Drafted 30th Overall, 1997 Draft, HR, Flemington, NJ
Bats L/Throws R
26 YO, 6'1", 230 lbs

There are certain things that just feel inevitable. Billy Beane acquiring Cust is one of those things. You just knew that sooner or later this guy would end up in the A's organization. He's not on the major league roster though. At this point, it looks like his detractors were right. His swing was too long and he has a lot of problems with breaking balls. He's also still an awful outfielder. We know what to expect from him at this point. He'll strike out a lot, he'll draw a ton of walks, and he'll hit some bombs.

2004 Ottawa: .235/.358/.433, 15 2B, 17 HR, 65 BB, 127 K, 344 AB
pre-2005 mL Career: .289/.429/.522, 189 2B, 142 HR, 665 BB, 927 K, 2786 AB
MLB Career: .220/.331/.390, 9 2B, 5 HR, 23 BB, 58 K, 141 AB

It's not hopeless. Rob Stratton retooled his swing and his approach last season and ended up having a huge breakthrough with Louisville. If Cust can pull off something similar, he might finally start to live up to the lofty expectations us statheads set him up with back in 2000-2002. It isn't strong evidence, but thus far he's showing some signs of life in 2005. He's hitting .313/.407/583 with Sacramento. If he does manage to maintain those numbers, he could be a pretty good bat to have in a left field or DH platoon. You could easily compare him to a kind of Matt Stairs for the next half decade, only with a little bit more extreme skill set on offense.

2 1/2 Stars

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