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MLB Draft 2021: Dodgers projected to take RHP Ryan Cusick at No. 29 overall

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One mock draft links LA to Wake Forest right-hander, who been clocked as high as 102 mph

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY Network via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Mock Draft season continues, with this one from The Athletic having the Dodgers draft a hard-throwing right-handed from Wake Forest, Ryan Cusick.

The 6-foot-6 right-hander was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 40th round (No. 1,189 overall) of the 2018 MLB Draft, but opted to play college ball instead.

He’s made 12 starts in 2021, going 3-5 with a 4.24 ERA. In 70 innings he’s struck out 108 batters (13.9 SO/9). Here’s a quick write up from The Athletic.

Cusick has a great arm, up to 100 mph, and he’s come a long way since arriving in Winston-Salem, but his delivery, command, and breaking ball are all inconsistent. Maybe the Dodgers would target Hoglund or Hill, but Cusick is the sort of upside, “we have the technology” sort of pick they’ve made, and made well, repeatedly since Billy Gasparino became their scouting director.

Per Baseball America, Cusick is the No. 30 overall prospect. They cite that he has the chance to throw 100 in the big leagues, but scouts want to see him take steps forward with his command and his breaking ball consistently to feel good about his chances to start at the next level.

Here are some scouting grades on him, per MLB.com. As you can see, his highest rated pitch is his fastball. He’s been clocked as high as 102 mph. Once he’s able to improve some of his other pitches, he definitely has a shot of becoming a solid arm in the big-leagues.

There isn’t much effort in Cusick’s delivery and his arm works well, but he has yet to provide consistent strikes. As impressive as his arm strength is, he’ll have to be more efficient to succeed as a starter at higher levels. His huge 6-foot-6 frame and high arm slot provide angle and plane on his pitches and add to the difficulty of trying to barrel them.