The MWAH prospect countdown marches on with yet another left-handed reliever but one who hasn't even thrown a pitch in the Angels organization yet.
Position: Relief Pitcher Highest Level: Triple-A
Throws: Left Height: 6'2" Weight: 220 lbs.
Age: 27 Born: 7/13/85
2012 Season Stats
Triple-A: 67.1 IP, 3-2, 8 SV, 2.54 ERA, 59 H, 32 BB, 8 HR, 73 SO, 0.61 GO/AO, 4.05 FIP, .297 BABIP
Fastball – B-. It isn’t necessarily Sisk’s velocity that makes his fastball a good pitch. It generally sits at 90-91 mph, but Sisk’s deceptive delivery, the movement of the ball, the aggressiveness with which he uses it and his ability to spot it wherever he wants. Sisk won’t overpower hitters, but he will induce his fair share of batted balls that aren’t squared up, especially against lefties.
Off-speed Pitches – B-. Sisk offers a very good change-up. He uses the same arm angle, and while his arm speed slows down slightly, his deceptive delivery prevents hitters from being able to pick it up. Sisk also throws a slider, but this is nothing more than an average pitch that serves the purpose of keeping hitters honest and keying on his change up.
Control – B. Sisk’s career 3.6 BB/9 is rather solid for a reliever. Unfortunately he posted a somewhat unsightly BB/9 in AAA last season, but not nearly as bad as most Angel relievers.
Command – B+. Before 2012, Sisk proved he had the ability to pound the zone and consistently shut down opposing offenses. It isn’t as if he didn’t do this in AAA in 2012, he was utterly dominant most times, but he walked more hitters than preferred. Still, Sisk rarely missed his spots and didn’t leave the ball up or out over the middle of the plate.
Mechanics – B+. Sisk has extremely simple “drop & drive” mechanics. Meaning it’s a repeatable, easy delivery that involves a high leg kick, good use of his legs and very good reach of his throwing arm toward the plate. The only thing really preventing this from being an “A” grade is the fact that he puts quite a lot of effort into it, it isn’t as free and easy as many starters.
Performance – A-. The man posted a 2.54 ERA in the most difficult pitching environment in the world (Pacific Coast League). He owns a 2.59 career ERA in the minors and owns a 9.9 K/9. There’s quite literally nothing left to prove in the minors, yet I get the feeling that given the Angels recent acquisitions, that’s exactly where he’s headed.
Projection – C. Sisk doesn’t project to be anything more than a lefty reliever in the major leagues. But as we’ve seen, those can be TREMENDOUSLY valuable. Still, Scott Downs didn’t project to be anything more than a lefty reliever and across the last few years he’s been one of the best relievers in baseball.
Estimated MLB Arrival Date – 2013.
(*As always, the above scouting report is provided by Scotty Allen of LA Angels Insider)
Season Summary: As of right now, Brandon Sisk is known to Angel fans merely as "the scrub they got from KC for Ervin Santana." However, Sisk does have a chance at some day being known as "the decent lefty reliever they got from KC for Ervin Santana." Lofty aspirations, I know. It is easy to see why people were not at all excited about getting Sisk from the Royals. He's 27 years old and has never pitched in the majors even though he has been in the Kansas City organization. Of course, that might actually be why he hasn't reached the pros yet. The Royals big league club stinks, but their farm system is bursting with talent, which makes it hard for a low-ceiling guy to break through. Nor does it help that the Royals major league bullpen is actually very good and very deep. That has all conspired against Sisk to make him look like less of a prospect than he really is.
Sisk may have been toiling in the minors for five years, but his stats have been pretty good the whole time. If you compare him to Andrew Taylor, who is one spot behind him on this prospect list, Sisk has the stats you wish Taylor did. Sisk has missed bats at every level (close to 9.00 K/9 every season) and has only had one year where his ERA was higher than 2.54. Like Taylor, Sisk has also been facing more righties than lefties in his time, which makes his numbers all the more impressive since he does profile as a left-handed specialist in the majors. What's encouraging about Sisk though is that his platoon splits aren't wildly out of whack. His K/9 rate in Triple-A last season is practically identical against lefties and righties as is his batting average allowed. Even his walk rate isn't all that much worse against righties for his career. The biggest issue seems to be how hard righties hit him. In his minor league career his his HR/9 allowed against lefties is a stingy 0.19 but a discouraging 1.16 against righties. Overall his lefty-righty OPS split is .545 versus .713. That is a big gap, but it isn't like he is totally useless against righties, which suggests that he could actually have a slightly higher ceiling than LOOGY. But even if he isn't, he is so deadly against left-handed hitters, he could make for a very good LOOGY.
What to Expect in 2013: Like the aforementioned Taylor, Sisk is blocked at the big league level by Downs and Burnett. As such, he will be spending the season in Triple-A where he will have to show that his stuff can still play at the high altitude. If it does, he should be the first one to get the call if/when Downs or Burnett goes down to injury. Right now, Sisk has the inside track since the organization obviously liked him enough to trade for him, but they could sour on him once they get their eyes on him, especially if his control issues get exacerbated by the thin air.