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Orioles prospect Chance Sisco makes strides behind plate

Chance Sisco made major strides with his defense in 2015.

When Orioles catching prospect Chance Sisco thinks back to his 2015 season, he immediately thinks about how far he has progressed over the course of one year.

He was able to move through the organization’s minor league system, ending the year celebrating an Eastern League championship at Double-A Bowie. He followed that up with a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League.

At the plate, Sisco had a solid encore to his South Atlantic League batting title in 2014 with a .297/.376/.415 batting line between High-A Frederick and Bowie. While he continued to show he could hold his own offensively as he moved up, his biggest strides were made with his defense behind the plate.

“Over the past year, that’s definitely the thing that’s come around,” Sisco said. “Every aspect of catching, working with the pitchers, blocking, receiving, throwing. So, definitely catching. … I think I can handle it. I got some great experience in Bowie in the last month and a half and in the playoffs, and then in the fall league this fall. I’ve gotten some great experience.”

When Sisco was drafted in the 2013 second round out of a California high school, the biggest question was whether he would project to be a catcher as a pro.

“I want to be a catcher,” Sisco said. “When I made the decision to switch in high school, that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a catcher. That’s why I made the switch in the first place.”

While he was in Bowie, Sisco even worked with Orioles bench coach/catchers coach John Russell at Camden Yards late in the season, receiving tips from Russell and Orioles catchers Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph.

"I heard from John Russell,” Sisco said. “He had me come over here when I was in Bowie at the end of the season and do some work with him and some of the other catchers."

Sisco only caught 17 regular-season games at Bowie, but posted a .992 fielding percentage and threw out 40 percent of attempted base stealers (10 of 25).

“That was also huge,” Sisco said. “I feel like the thing that was probably holding me back at Frederick was the catching, so being able to get the call-up and then [play] in the fall league, it gave me confidence definitely.”

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