- Full name José Luis Cisnero
- Born 04/11/1989 in Bajos De Haina, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 258 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 04/22/2013
Organization Prospect Rankings
Cisnero survived Lancaster, where he posted a 6.06 ERA in 2011 due mostly to too many walks and poor luck with his strand rate. He also averaged more than 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings, and the Astros promoted him to Double-A for 2012. He responded by making every start for the third straight season and finishing in Triple-A. Cisnero generates good velocity and sink on his fastball. He pitches at 90-92 mph with his sinker, at times working at 94-95. His slider is his main secondary pitch, an average if unspectacular breaking ball that he keeps down in the zone when he's going well. His changeup is fringy but has some sink and helped hold lefthanders homerless in 316 plate appearances against him last year. Cisnero threw more strikes in 2012 but his long arm action makes it tough for him to repeat his release point, so he'll never have precise command. Some scouts think he'll wind up in the bullpen. His durability and sturdy pitcher's frame gives him value as a sinker-slider innings-eater. Added to the 40-man roster this offseason, Cisnero will compete for a rotation spot in Houston but likely will start the year in Triple-A.
Cisnero led the Cal League in strikeouts per nine innings (11.9) while ranking second in opponent average (.246) and sixth in strikeouts (152). However, his 6.06 ERA was the sixth-worst in the league. (Four of the bottom six ERAs belonged to JetHawks pitchers.) Cisnero throws an 87-91 mph two-seamer with fair sink and a 92-94 mph four-seamer that scrapes 97. The more he used his four-seamer last year, the better his velocity got. He lacks command of both fastballs and nibbles too often, leading to deep counts and too many walks. Cisnero has enough velocity and life to challenge hitters more and develop passable control, but he's unlikely ever to have average command with his long arm action. He throws a slider that gets sloppy and hammered at times, and a changeup that doesn't have enough separation from his fastball. Cisnero has a good pitcher's frame and could use a bit more urgency. One scout likened him to Jamie Navarro for his frame, stuff and demeanor. Cisnero could wind up as a No. 4 starter or seventh-inning reliever. He'll escape Lancaster and advance to Double-A in 2012.