Cleveland Indians 2012 Top Prospects No. 6: Jake Sisco

As the offseason nears its end, we’re profiling the top prospects in the Indians organization. Today, we continue our countdown with No. 6: Jake Sisco.

Sisco was the 37th-round pick of the San Francisco Giants in the 2010 MLB amateur draft, but instead of signing he opted for the junior college route in order to improve his stock. It certainly worked out for him.

The Indians made Sisco their third-round pick in the 2011 draft after he posted a 1.66 ERA and 10.3 K/9 rate and was named Conference Player of the Year at Merced Junior College. Sisco had plenty of leverage as a 19-year-old who was only one year removed from high school, but he still signed early and was able to get some innings in at rookie ball.

Sisco’s statistics in rookie ball weren’t very impressive: he was 2-4 with a 5.24 ERA, a 4.5 BB/9 rate and a 8.1 K/9 rate in 34.1 innings. But that shouldn’t diminish his stock too much considering he had just pitched 108 innings of college ball—142.1 IP is a lot for a 19-year-old arm.

Back at full strength in 2012, Sisco will have the chance to show off his mid-90’s fastball—the extra velocity he gained was a big reason he shot up the draft board. Sisco also holds a slider, curve and changeup in his repertoire. None of these pitches has developed into a real devastating offering yet, but they are all considered above-average.

Many scouts believe that there is more potential to be unlocked within Sisco. His velocity jump last year was legit as he is still young.  At 6’3″, Sisco is at the ideal size you would want from a starter. He’s also at a solid 185 pounds and could grow more. Sisco was already a prospect on the rise, that could certainly continue within the Indians’ system.

Personally, I like Sisco a lot. He’ll fly under the radar in 2012 unless you follow the Tribe’s system closely, but with a solid start at Single-A Lake County in 2012 he could get some innings at High-A Kinston by the end of the year. If he’s able to produce at both of those levels and reach Double-A in 2013, he could be well on his way to a look in Cleveland’s rotation in late 2014.

Assuming Sisco continues to improve as he has in the last year, he has the upside of a solid No. 2 starter, though an above-average number three starter is a more likely projection. At worst, he’ll be a back-end big league starter with some above-average strikeout potential. Sisco could prove to be a real get for Cleveland from the most recent draft.

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