#29 – RHP Brant Rustich

Bats/Throws: R/R

Height/Weight: 6’6”, 230 lbs

Acquired: 2nd rd ’07 (UCLA)

Born: 1/23/85

2009 Rank: 13

Why Ranked Here: Maybe I should just excerpt what I wrote last year about Rustich.  Ok, I will.  Here’s what I wrote last year:When he’s healthy, few pitchers in the Mets system can match Rustich’s mid-90s fastball and biting slider. However, Rustich has rarely been healthy. In 2008, Rustich’s season ended early when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his humerus bone in his right arm…. doctors found both a small labrum tear and damage in his UCL in his elbow.”  Rustich again struggled to stay healthy in 2009, and was eventually shut down with another stress fracture in his arm.  Reports were that he made some nice progress with his changeup which has some sink to it, but his lack of time on the mound limited his ability to work on it in game situations.  The power stuff and big body keep him ranked, but his injury worries drop him 16 places from last year.

2009: The Mets were extraordinarily cautious with Rustich in 2009.  He began the year in the St. Lucie bullpen, working a few innings every five or six days in April and May.  Rustich made three starts in June all four innings or shorter, but returned to the bullpen in July.  When he pitched, he was extremely effective, striking out a batter an inning with a k/bb ratio of 2.7.  The next step will be AA and more innings.

Dr. Pangloss Says: Rustich has a big league arm and could turn into a shutdown reliever.

Debbie Downer Says: At age 25, having thrown under 100 innings combined in the last two seasons, time has run out on Rustich developing the arm strength to be a starter.  Lets talk when and if he’s pitching healthily for Binghamton in June.

Projected 2010 Start: Binghamton bullpen

MLB Arrival: September 2011, or early 2012

ERA G/GS IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG BB/9 SO/9 HR/9 SO/BB GB% R/9
08 – A 3.62 20/8 49.2 42 26 20 1 16 48 .231 2.93 8.78 0.18 3.00 50.30 4.76
09 – A+ 2.45 19/3 47.2 44 20 13 0 17 46 .240 3.24 8.77 0.00 2.71 0.49 3.81