By Contributing Writer: Nick Stevens
Today, we continue with Baby Birdland’s Preseason Top 15 Prospects list with #2, C Chance Sisco.
Photo: Patrick Cavey
Has the time finally arrived for Chance Sisco? The left-handed catcher has torched his way through the minor leagues since being drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB draft. However, Sisco still faces a massive (and unfair?) uphill battle to take his place behind the plate at Camden Yards.
Appearing at every single minor league level (except the Dominican League), Sisco is a career .311 minor league hitter with a .390 on-base percentage. He’s, arguably, the most patient hitter in the Orioles minor league system, and routinely finds a way to get on base.
There’s no disagreement about Sisco’s offensive tools. MLB Pipeline grades his hit tool at a 60. His ability to drive the ball and find the gaps is one of the best in baseball. Sisco’s 98 career doubles; BABIPs of .406 (2014), .387 (2016), and .351 (2017); and wRC+ totals of 141, 135, 107 in those same years proves that.
The major knock on Sisco from an offensive standpoint is his lack of home runs. He has just 25 in 455 career minor league games. My response to that is “who cares?”. Stop trying to turn Sisco into a hitter he’s not. Let him drive the ball and get on base. I’ll take a .290 hitter who gets on base 38% of the time and hits 30 doubles with five home runs, over a .220 hitter who hits 30 home runs but strikes out 200 times.
MLB Pipeline removed Sisco from their Top 100 list for 2018, but ranked him the seventh best catching prospect. Baseball America placed Sisco 68th in their Top 100. Evaluators base their rankings on different criteria and differing opinions make things more interesting. However, it seems as though Sisco is quickly falling out of favor with evaluators.
Many are now questioning his ability to stick behind the plate. He’s still learning the position after picking it up late in his career. The Orioles brought in former top prospect, Andrew Susac to compete with Sisco and Caleb Joseph. Austin Wynns was also added to the 40-man roster and will be in spring training camp.
Wynns is a defense-first catcher who has been getting a lot of positive attention this offseason from the Orioles’ blogosphere, all the way up to the Orioles’ front office. Can Chance Sisco, Baltimore’s second ranked prospect, outlast the competition and platoon with Caleb Joseph this year?
I think he does one better and takes over the job full-time.
Keep following @BabyBirdland, @CoachNick_14, and @CABoemmelJR for updates on Sisco and every other Orioles prospect all season long!
Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to unveil our Preseason Top 15 Prospects list and check out those that have been revealed thus far on our Top 15 Prospects page!