The Atlanta Braves have been furiously signing up their draft class over the past week, and they finally have the big on out of the way as first round pick Ryan Cusick has been signed with a $2,700,000 signing bonus. When Cusick was taken in the first round it was a big question whether he would come in under the slot value or not, and he did just sneak in under that number by $131,300.
1st-rder Ryan Cusick signs w/@Braves for $2.7 million (pick 24 value = $2,831,300). Wake Forest RHP, holds velo on high-spin mid-90s fastball that peaks at 102 mph, much improved power curveball, sinking changeup too. @MLBDraft— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 21, 2021
For a longer run down of what the Braves are getting in Cusick you can check out the report from Matt Powers here, but the tl;dr version of it is that Cusick is one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the draft with a fastball that easily hits 100mph. He also throws a power curveball and a fringy but improving slider and changeup. The big question mark is his command, but the Braves were enticed by his velocity and the spin rate and angle on his fastball and felt very confident in their ability to develop him.
The Braves are now over their bonus pool limit for the draft, though they are still below the 5% overage that would cost them a draft pick. You can find a full rundown of our signings here on our yearly Draft Pick signing tracker.