Draft : : Story
Monday, August 07, 2017

East Coast Pro Top Prospects

David Rawnsley        
Photo: Perfect Game

The East Coast Pro Showcase is one of two major showcases during the month of August that are run by professional scouts, with the other being the Area Code Games. This scout has been to the last 18 East Coast Pro events, with this four-day edition continuing its run at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Past East Coast Pro Showcases have been held at minor league parks in Wilmington, Syracuse and Lakeland. Players selected hail almost exclusively to the east of the Mississippi River, with the occasional exception.

The following accounting of the top prospects at the event is based strictly on the impressions they've left here in Tampa without consideration to each player's other performances this summer and before. Each section is in alphabetical order.


Cole Ayers, RHP (Loveland, Ohio): Ayers’ delivery may be better suited in a reliever role but he has a chance to refine it with adjustments. He works his fastball in the 90-93 mph range with good life but his best pitch is a low to mid-80s knuckle curveball that has outstanding power and spin, with curveball depth and shape at slider velocities.

Austin Becker, RHP (Sunbury, Ohio): Becker's fastball velocity has been inching forward all summer and it continued to show improvement in Tampa, working consistently at 92-93 mph and topping out at 95 mph. Most importantly, Becker's curveball, which hasn't been consistent at all, finally started clicking in the upper-70s with a better release out front and more power at the plate.

Ryan Cusick, RHP (Sudbury, Mass.): Cusick is an intimidating presence on the mound at 6-foot-6, 225-pounds, with broad shoulders and long arms. He strides out well in his delivery and gets the type of extension that makes it looks like he's handing the ball to the catcher. Hitters were late on a 92-93 mph fastball he commanded well. Cusick tends to slow his arm on a 79-81 mph slider but when he learns to throw it harder it could become another weapon.

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