By Jason Wojciechowski on November 21, 2004 at 6:29 PM
The A's, in an announcement I nearly missed, paraded their newest minor league acquisition in front of the wire-report reading masses yesterday: Jack Cust! Finally, the player most perfectly suited to join the A's organization has done it!
I don't think he's going to become the next Erubiel Durazo or anything, but I don't see why he couldn't be Olmedo Saenz or a more-defensively challenged version of Matt Stairs. His batting averages have declined with every step up the professional chain, but I see no reason why he couldn't, in a part-time role, still hit .257/.353/.514, which is his career (in 74 at-bats) American League batting line.
It seems like he's been failing to live up to the hype forever now, but he'll still turn just 26 in January. In other words, he's a perfect low-risk, high-reward player. Cust and his agent, by the way, probably couldn't have made a better choice in picking an organization where he can re-establish himself. Other teams might be willing to give him a shot, but teams like the Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Red Sox all seem to have other obstacles: Los Angeles is in the National League, the Blue Jays have a seeming glut of young outfield talent, and the Red Sox already have David Ortiz doing exactly what Cust would provide, but better.