Baltimore Orioles Catcher Chance Sisco Exceeding Early Expectations

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Chance Sisco
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Chance Sisco /

Baltimore Orioles catcher Chance Sisco was added to the Orioles roster on Opening Day, which has turned out to be a fantastic decision.

Let’s take a little trip to Baltimore Orioles spring training in Sarasota where the weather is warmer.

The Baltimore Orioles are not 6-17. And it is unknown if Chance Sisco is going to be on the Opening Day roster.

There was a belief that Austin Wynns could make the team because of his defense. Or, that Andrew Susac, who had major league experience, would make the team.

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Some believed that Sisco still needed seasoning in Triple-A. Others felt he was ready. Chalk that one as a win for the ‘others.’

Sisco has more than held his own in the majors. In fact, it appears he has already won the starting job away from Caleb Joseph.

Sisco has played in 18 of the Orioles 23 games. He is hitting .256/.333/.326 with three doubles, five runs batted in and three runs scored. Sisco has 11 hits in 43 at-bats so far.

On Wednesday, if the Orioles are able to play, Sisco will bat in the top of the batting order for the first time. He is slotted second behind Trey Mancini.

As a minor leaguer, Sisco was a career .311/.390/.426 hitter. He is not a power hitter but is a strong on-base guy who will get his singles and doubles.

One area where Sisco needs to work on in the major leagues is his selectivity. So far this season, he has four walks and 19 strikeouts.

In the minors, his walk to strikeout ratios were 42:79 in 2014 for Single-A Delmarva, 42:55 for High-A Frederick and Bowie in 2015, 61:88 for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2016, and 32:99 for Triple-A Norfolk in 2017.

So, his numbers did not exactly get better as he advanced. And that is concerning because you don’t want a contact hitter who is high in strikeouts. Especially when the rest of your team strikes out all the time.

Then there is his defense. Sisco was never viewed as a strong defender. The major league opposition wouldn’t know that.

Sisco has yet to make an error this season and has a caught stealing percentage of 64 percent. That, in case you were wondering, is tops in the American League. He has caught 7-of-11 attempted base stealers.

He has no passed balls to his credit, despite seven wild pitches being thrown while he is behind the plate.

Sisco also has turned two double plays at catcher, which is tied for third in the American League.

Most thought that if Sisco started 2018 in the majors, he would sit behind Caleb Joseph and have the opportunity to learn from Joseph, who looks like a future manager, and John Russell.

However, Sisco has played his way into the starting lineup and is making it harder to take him out.

Buck Showalter has even seen enough to move him to the top of the batting order, which is surprising but needed.

Next: Orioles Claim Jace Peterson Off Waivers Amid Infielder Injuries

For as bad as the Orioles have been so far, there have been some positive developments. Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Richard Bleier, Manny Machado and Chance Sisco are the best.

The Orioles need more players to have positive developments, and one of those players is the man Sisco will be catching on Wednesday, Alex Cobb.