Baltimore Orioles: Top Ten Prospects for 2018

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 25: The Baltimore Orioles logo is seen on a batting helmet during the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on June 25, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 25: The Baltimore Orioles logo is seen on a batting helmet during the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on June 25, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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4. Chance Sisco, C

Birthday (age on opening day 2018): 2/24/95 (23)
2017 teams/levels played for: AAA Norfolk Tides, MLB Baltimore Orioles
2017 Stats: Minors: .267/.340/.395, 388 PA, 7 HR, 2 SB, 32/99 BB/K; Majors: .333/.455/.778, 22 PA, 2 HR, 3/7 BB/K

Info: I’ll gladly accept being the low man on Sisco at this point as he won’t make my top 100 list, and he’s not in my top 2 Orioles prospects, where he seems to be firmly planted for most people (or at least #3 if not top 2).

Sisco was a 2nd round pick out of high school, having just moved to catcher his final year of high school, and he has shown his entire time in the minor leagues an ability to make consistent contact, hitting .311 in the minors, and even hitting .333 in his 10-game MLB debut in 2017.

Behind the plate, there are plenty of questions of what Sisco will be. He can be exposed in the run game, as indicated by his 0-5 performance in just 10 major league games attempting to catch base stealers.

(Sisco) has shown his entire time in the minor leagues an ability to make consistent contact

Sisco has the ability to frame well behind the plate, but that is really his one redeeming tool behind the plate. Even then, Sisco ranked poorly in that via Baseball Prospectus’ catching metrics, he was listed as being a -5.0 framing runs catcher in AA in 2016 before having +5.6 framing runs in 2017 in AAA and -0.5 framing runs in MLB.

Sisco will likely require a quality defensive backup for his team if he’s relied upon as the primary catcher, and he’s not even going to offer the same amount of power as other contact-first catchers have in the past like Joe Mauer, but he probably fits more offensively in the profile of a guy like Francisco Cervelli.

Cervelli is able to provide value to his team with his excellent defense along with the bat, which brings to question how much value an empty contact bat will have for Sisco without high-quality defense.

Sisco is likely to open the 2018 season in Baltimore as the primary catcher in Baltimore.

3. Tanner Scott, LHP

Birthday (age on opening day 2018): 7/22/94 (23)
2017 teams/levels played for: AA Bowie Baysox, MLB Baltimore Orioles
2017 Stats: Minors: 24 GS, 69 IP, 2.22 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 15.9% BB, 30% K

Info: The fact that he started 24 games is a bit misleading as the Orioles worked him just a few innings in each start, but Scott was moved to the rotation after spending the first couple of seasons in the bullpen after being drafted in 2014.

Scott has easily the most electric arm in the entire system, with a fastball that tops triple digits that Scott can manipulate in multiple ways, getting sink and cut on the pitch when he desires. The slider in the fall league was an absolutely devastating pitch, climbing over 90 MPH and showing incredible late bite.

That pair would set Scott up as an excellent option to work in an Andrew Miller type of role for the Orioles, going multiple innings out of the bullpen. He’s struggled to see his change work at more than an average level, but if his fastball/slider combo can both play as double-plus pitches, a third pitch needs not be more than a show-me pitch to be effective for multiple innings.

The discussion through the season was that Scott would be used a a starter. That would have him down the rankings a few spots as he’d have multiple seasons of development left to do before he was able to reach the majors to build up the ability to go 5+ innings consistently.

I’m putting Scott here as I believe that he’ll be going to Baltimore to open the season, especially now with Zach Britton out to open the season, and I think Scott will show himself to be a dominant force from the left side for the Orioles bullpen.

Next: #1 and #2