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Top Prospect Alert

Jack Cust III -- By Robert Sherry

Position OF
Height 6-0
Weight 200
Born 1-7-79
Bats Left
Throws Right
Diamondbacks 1997 1st Round pick from Immaculatta High School in Flemington, New Jersey.

Jack Cust is currently playing left field for the High Desert Mavericks in the Class A California League. In my opinion he is the currently the games best prospect with the least amount of attention or hype. Lets take a quick look at his Statistics for this season. .336 avg. 104 runs 150 hits 42 doubles  3 triples 32 home runs  111rbi  91 walks 142 k's  .659 slugging pct  .448 on base percentage 10 errors. His Average, Home Runs, Slugging Percentage and Onbase Percentage are all Tops in the Lg. He is third in doubles and 4th in runs scored.

Taking a closer look inside the numbers if he had not been hurt and missed 2 weeks of the season he would be a lock for the for the Triple Crown. Yet there have been very few articles regarding this prospect. One of the biggest knocks on Cust has been his defense. While in high school he played primarily third base and first base. Upon being drafted by the Diamondbacks he was moved to left field. He never played an inning or a game at 1st Base, due to contrary belief, he has always been a left fielder with the Diamondbacks. Every season his defense has improved and I believe at a minimum he will be an average defensive left fielder. But the real reason the Diamondbacks are so high on Cust is his approach to hitting. Cust has a great eye and doesn't swing at many bad pitches.

Although his strike out total for this season is high it can be attributed to the pitching in the Cal Lg., not very consistent. Rarely do you find a hitter that draws as many walks as Cust does and hits well over .300 and have that not that be his strong points. The thing that separates Cust from most prospects is his incredible power. If you ever get a chance to see him play make sure you get there early because you will see more than your share of batting practices bombs when it's his turn to hit. If Cust were with another organization he would have been promoted to AA already but the Diamondbacks have taken the same approach to all their top prospects believing that they should spend an entire season in A ball no matter what the statistics show. As an indication of how high they are on Cust he was the only position player in the organization selected to play in the 99 Arizona Fall League at the age of 20. Look for Cust to start the 99 Season at Double A El Paso with a call up to Triple A Tucson by Mid Season.

He should challenge for an Outfield position with the Diamondbacks in the year 2001.


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