For the past three seasons, OF/DH Jack Cust, has led the Oakland A’s in homeruns. Last season, Cust led the team with 25 homers. Collectively, the A’s managed to only hit 135 homers all season long (compared to their opponents’ total of 156). The A’s had only three other players who hit 10 or more homeruns in 2009. Kurt Suzuki had 15, Adam Kennedy had 11 and Mark Ellis had 10. Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi both had 11, but neither stuck around for the whole season in Oakland. Despite resigning Cust, the A’s still are without a big power bat in their lineup. Kevin Kouzmanoff, acquired via trade with San Diego, has power potential, but playing in the Coliseum could hurt his numbers. Expect him to hit about 15 this year. Kurt Suzuki hit 15 last season (10 in the 2nd half), and should be able to come close to that number in 2010. Ellis, who has a five year streak of 10 or more homers in a season, will be looking to extend his modest streak.
So, it looks like the A’s will have to rely on Jack Cust to supply the power. However, Cust is also known to supply something else entirely. Last season, en route to his 25 homers, Cust also struck out 185 times (team leader). In his 513 at-bats, Cust struck out 36% of the time. In 2008, Cust struck out a total 197 times (481 at-bats, 40.9% K rate). And finally, in 2007, Cust struck out 164 times (395 at-bats, 41.5% K rate). Below is a closer look at Cust’s numbers during his time in Oakland.
Year AB R H HR TB RBI SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS BB
2007 395 61 101 26 199 82 164 0 .256 .408 .504 .912 105
2008 481 77 111 33 229 77 197 0 .231 .375 .476 .851 111
2009 513 88 123 25 214 70 185 4 .240 .356 .417 .773 93
**I almost excluded the walks–yikes!
Upon reviewing his numbers, you can see that Cust will hit a homer, strike out or walk. Rarely does he get any extra base hits. He’s a true slugger, who takes his uppercut swings to box every time out. In 2010, Cust will have to raise his BB total and hit for a slightly better average. Cust will provide the power no doubt, but he will need to cut back on his SO total if he is to be successful in 2010.
Here’s my PROJECTION for CUST in 2010:
.246/.365/.458, 26 HR, 73 RBI