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Orioles Enamored Of Chance Sisco's Hitting Approach

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Chance Sisco (Photo by Mike Janes) Chance Sisco hit .320/.406/.422 with 28 doubles (Photo by Mike Janes)[/caption]

Best Player: The Orioles held on to Chance Sisco at the trade deadline. Instead they dealt from their catching depth when they sent high Class A backstop Jonah Heim to the Rays for Steve Pearce.

Sisco, 21, remains the top catching prospect in the organization, with a bat that has produced at every level. The 2013 second-round pick hit .320/.406/.422 with 28 doubles, four home runs and 44 RBIs in 112 games at Double-A Bowie, where he spent the year until a late move to Triple-A Norfolk.

"He has a super-professional approach to hitting,” farm director Brian Graham said. "He recognizes pitches and understands the strike zone. He has a pure lefthanded swing that stays in the hitting zone a long time.”

Scouts have questioned Sisco’s work behind the plate, but Graham said, "He’s made really good strides receiving and blocking. His throwing continues to get better.”

Best Pitcher: The Orioles don’t have a pitching prospect who put up eye-popping numbers, but 21-year-old Dominican righthander Jesus Liranzo has gained notice. Baltimore signed him in July 2013 following his release from the Braves organization.

Liranzo pitched in the U.S. for the first time this season, advancing from low Class A Delmarva to Bowie as a reliever. In 27 appearances he recorded a 1.87 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He struck out 66 batters and allowed just 20 hits in 53 innings, while flashing a plus fastball and slider.

Liranzo skipped high Class A Frederick on his way to Bowie, and he will be Rule 5 draft eligible this winter, which means he will most likely be placed on the 40-man roster.

"Look at his numbers and where he came from, and the future with him is bright,” Graham said.”

Keep An Eye On: The Orioles found outfielder Randolph Gassaway in the 16th round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Sandy Springs, Ga. He became an intriguing prospect by batting a combined .340/.384/.535 with seven home runs in 55 games at short-season Aberdeen and Delmarva.

The 21-year-old righthanded hitter played just five games with the IronBirds before moving up to the South Atlantic League, where he recorded an .883 OPS.


2018 Position Rankings: Catchers

This year's catcher class is deep with a mix of offensive and defensive backstops.

"He was never on anybody’s radar,” Graham said, "and the next thing you know, he’s really swung the bat well this year.”

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