Chance Sisco on Futures Game: “It’s an honor and to be in that game means a lot”

On Sunday the Orioles will be represented by two young pitching prospects in the All-Star Futures Game. Single-A Delmarva right-hander Grayson Rodriguez and Single-A Frederick left-hander DL Hall will play for the American League squad against the National League team in Cleveland.

The Futures Games has become a pretty high-profile event featuring some of the top prospects in the sport. It will be televised live on Sunday at 7 p.m. by MLB Network.

Rodriguez, 19, the first-round pick by the Orioles last year at No. 11 overall, is 7-2 with a 2.18 ERA for Delmarva. He’s allowed one earned run or less in 10 of 12 starts, allowing just one run in 14 innings in his past three starts. For the year he’s walked 16, fanned 84 and posted a WHIP of 0.89 in 62 innings.

Rodriguez is the only player from the South Atlantic League to make the game and is one of just two players in low Single-A ball along with Arizona outfielder Alek Thomas. So Rodriguez will be one of the youngest players in that game.

Hall, 20, was taken in round one (No. 21 overall) in 2017. For the Keys in 14 games he is 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA. He has struggled with walks, issuing 42 to 80 strikeouts 53 2/3 innings. Over his past seven games, Hall has pitched to an ERA of 2.51, lowering his season ERA to its current level from 5.40.

In the Orioles clubhouse a couple of players can tell Rodriguez and Hall what to expect this weekend. They include catcher Chance Sisco and pitcher Dylan Bundy.

Sisco-Catches-Futures-Game-Sidebar.jpgSisco played in the Futures Game in both 2016 and 2017. In his first game he hit an opposite field homer at San Diego’s Petco Park, where the southern California kid had about 50 members of family and friends in the stands.

“They’ll experience kind of a day in the big leagues,” Sisco said of the Futures Game experience. “They do a really good job of simulating what that experience is like. Just being in that environment and playing in those stadiums, it’s like a day in the big leagues. Just hope they enjoy it and have a good time there.

“I think it’s a big deal. It’s fun first of all. There is obviously a lot of talent in the game. It’s an honor and to be in that game means a lot. It’s a real good test for you.”

Sisco said for him it was a source of pride to represent the Orioles in those games.

“Definitely you are representing yourself and the Orioles. To have a whole organization full of guys and they choose you to play in that game. It means a lot,” he said.

Bundy remembers playing with O’s teammate Manny Machado in the 2012 game at Kansas City. He said George Brett, the team’s manager told the players “they better win.” They did, 17-5 over the World team as Bundy threw a scoreless inning.

Bundy said he was excited for Rodriguez and Hall and that this game will be meaningful for their careers.

“I guess it shows you are doing the right things,” he said. “It’s definitely an honor to be selected. The two guys we got in this year, I’m happy for them. They are going to remember this for the rest of their careers.

“You just remember walking onto a big league field, it’s kind of like your first time. It was the first time I played on a big league field in pro ball. You’ll remember meeting certain guys. I think it was sold out and it’s a big deal to be in that game. Premium talent is in that game. It’s a true All-Star Game.”

On to Toronto: Bundy will be on the mound tonight at Rogers Centre when the Orioles open a series at Toronto. It’s the final series before the All-Star Game for the 25-61 Orioles, who beat Tampa Bay 9-6 Wednesday night. The Orioles lost two of three in St. Petersburg and they have lost 11 consecutive road series.

They began this season with two road series wins and one came at Rogers Centre, April 1-3 when the O’s took two of three. That was a nice change from last year when Toronto went 10-0 at home against the Orioles, outscoring them 63-28.

Over his last seven games, Sisco is 8-for-23 (.348) with three homers and 11 RBIs. Anthony Santander is batting .302 (13-for-43) with three homers and eight RBIs over his last 11 games. Jonathan Villar is batting .385 (10-for-26) with a .500 OBP during a seven-game hitting streak. Hanser Alberto is batting .375 (15-for-40) his past nine games. Renato Núñez is 6-for-13 his last four games with three homers and seven RBIs. Over his past 37 games he’s batting .279 with 12 homers, 28 RBIs and an OPS of .999.

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