The Baltimore Orioles have their most talked-about catcher since Matt Wieters on their 40-man roster. His name is Chance Sisco and he’s looking to become a starting catcher in the near future.
Sisco was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft from Santiago High School (Corona, CA). What was known about Sisco is that he could always tote a good bat and that he would do so during his minor league career.
Sisco’s early history
In 2013, in 124 plate appearances between the Gulf Coast League Orioles (Rookie) and the Aberdeen IronBirds, Sisco batted .363/.468/.451, with one home run and 11 RBIs. He would continue his batting tear in 2014, batting .340/.406/.448, with five home runs and 63 RBIs with the Delmarva Shorebirds (Low-A).
Sisco continued his tear in the minors during the 2015 season. He batted .297/.376/.415, hitting six home runs and 34 RBIs in between High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie in 398 plate appearances. His performance gave the Orioles confidence to send him to the Arizona Fall League in the same year, where he batted .255/.328/.327 with four RBIs.
Between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2016, in 497 plate appearances, Sisco batted .317/.403/.430, with six home runs and 51 RBIs. He began the 2017 season with Norfolk, batting .267/.340/.395 with seven home runs and 47 RBIs. Then, came that fateful day.
His cup of coffee
Sisco would make it to the show during the 2017 season, being called up on September 1. He would make his Major League debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 2, 2017 as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. In 22 plate appearances, batting .333/.455/.778, with two home runs and four RBIs.
Strengths and weaknesses
Here is a snip from Sisco’s scouting report from Kyle Glazer of Baseball America:
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"Sisco’s calling card has long been his smooth lefthanded swing and feel for the barrel. His swing is more conducive to producing hard line drives than elevating, but he has shown the ability to drive the ball over the fence to all fields, including an impressive home run the opposite way to left-center in the 2016 Futures Game at Petco Park."
One thing that hasn’t developed within Sisco’s game is his power stroke. Through 1954 plate appearances, he has only hit 27 home runs. To keep things in mind, he’s only 22-years old. He can add power, as he spends more time with the Major League club and he has flashed his power at times.
Benefitting from Big League Spring Training
Spending an entire Spring Training with the Orioles can also do wonders for his catching skills. He had issues controlling the run game in the past, having just a .200 caught stealing percentage. In comparison, former Orioles catcher Welington Castillo had a caught stealing percentage of .490, which lead the entire MLB.
Before becoming the starting catcher, he will have to compete with two other players for a starting role. Both Caleb Joseph and Austin Wynns are on the 40-man roster for the Baltimore. Joseph has the inside track for the starting job. However, if Sisco can show that he can command the pitching staff and hold more runners, he will be able to take over the starting role later on during the year.