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Friday 22nd Sep 2017

Yesterday I wrote about Russell Branyan, formerly maybe a DH, now at best a platoon first sacker, at worst relegated to Tucson, and probably a left handed bat off the Diamondbacks’ bench, at least for now.

Invariably, in writing about Branyan--or any player--a comparison comes to mind, and Branyan has a few equals. Rob Deer. Steve Balboni. Jack Cust.

Especially Cust, who is a contemporary, and, well, as Ryan Carey noted yesterday when I wrote about Branyan, the two beg for comparison.

Which is pretty much true. I really did think about noting Cust, but when I really noticed Branyan's awful run scoring skill, that grabbed all my attention (67 runs scored on base hits over 871 at-bats).

But Cust does have one thing over Branyan, and that is a job, which is huge in the fantasy world.

I do enjoy writing about Cust, though, for a lot of reasons. I remember when he was a hot hitting 22-year old at Tucson, in fact I saw the left hander there during Spring Training. And that year Cust hit .278-27-79 with 81 runs scored.

In Oakland I saw a lot of him over the past few years, as part of the worst outfield ever when he played left for a time when Emil Brown played right, and it did not matter who was in center field..

But, Cust also has the Custian Cycle, the stat awarded to him in deference to games where the slugger walked, whiffed, hit into a double play, and of course homered.

Since he will likely play full time in Seattle, and has 20 homer potential, Cust is a reasonable stash in pretty much any format, as home runs can be hard to come by, especially as the season passes, and the reserve list thins.

But, I was curious to see if indeed Cust did score more runs than Branyan. Looking at the last three years of each player, he did indeed.

Over that span, Cust has had 71 home runs over 1342 at-bats, with a total of 215 runs, to Branyan's 939 at-bats, with 68 home runs, and 135 runs scored.

With the dingers, Cust averaged .160 run per at-bat, and without, .113, while Branyan managed .143 runs per at-bat with the homers, to only .076 without.


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