Prospect #48: Chris Kissock

The Phillies officially converted Chris Kissock from a starter to a reliever last season and it went very smoothly. In fact, Kissock is likely better suited to pitch in relief than as a starter.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 9th round of the 2007 Draft.
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6' 4"   Weight: 195 lbs.
Birth Date: May 2, 1985
2009 Team(s): Clearwater
Games/Games Started: 47 / 0
School: Lewis & Clark State College
2009 Ranking: 63

Why Kissock jumped to #48: Chris Kissock took a small step back in 2008 when he made his full-season debut at Lakewood. Even with those struggles, the Phillies moved him along to Clearwater in 2009 and he didn't disappoint. Making the move to being a full-time reliever, Kissock quickly accepted his role with the Threshers after some early season struggles against the better hitters that he was facing. Once he found his groove, Kissock put up impressive numbers, including posting a 1.55 ERA over June and July. He's made good strides with all of his pitches and will likely continue to get better as he continues to put the finishing touches on his development.

Repertoire: Kissock has a good, sinking fastball that he has great confidence in and will throw to any hitter at any time. His slider has become much better over the past two seasons and doesn't have the slower, more predictable break that it had when Kissock came to the pros. Now, the slider has a quicker bite and Kissock can throw the pitch for strikes, giving him a nice advantage with the pitch. Since moving to the pen full-time, Kissock doesn't have to mess around with his other pitches too much, but will still throw an occasional change-up to keep a hitter from sitting on his fastball or to try to fool a hitter.

Pitching Style: One of the things that makes Kissock perfectly suited for relief pitching is his aggressiveness. He keeps himself poised and in control on the mound, but likes to be aggressive against hitters and go right after them. That same trait would sometimes get him in trouble as a starter, because he didn't have enough pitches to keep hitters guessing. Now, he uses location more than a mix of pitches to get hitters out.

Projection: It was likely the best move to put Kissock in the bullpen. The system has enough other starting pitchers and Kissock's style is more suited to pitching in relief. He averaged 1 1/2 innings per outing last season with Clearwater and it's possible that the Phillies will keep him in more of a middle-relief role for the time being. He could eventually develop into more of a setup or closer candidate.

Comparison: Kissock has Clay Condrey type stuff and compares favorably to the former Phillies reliever. It's not likely that he's destined for greatness, but like Condrey, he's a fighter, who can get guys out in various situations and can give his team a couple innings at a time if needed.

Chris Kissock's career stats

2007 Williamsport 2 3 3.74 13 2 2 33.2 37 17 14 2 9 26 1.366 2.4 7.0
2008 Lakewood 4 6 4.37 38 7 3 80.1 84 45 39 4 25 45 1.357 2.8 5.0
2009 Clearwater 3 5 3.98 47 0 0 72.1 82 38 32 7 15 59 1.341 1.9 7.3
3 Seasons 9 14 4.11 98 9 5 186.1 203 100 85 13 49 130 1.352 2.4 6.3

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