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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 31: Luis Basabe

He’s back for a second go-around, and may actually see majors time with the White Sox in 2022.

Chicago White Sox Summer Workouts
After a short stint in San Fran that included his MLB debut, Luis Basabe is back with the White Sox, angling toward a fourth outfielder spot.
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Luis Basabe

Right Fielder
180 pounds
Age: 25
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 11
2020 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 10
SSS rank among all right fielders in the system: 5

For his 16th birthday on Aug. 26, 2012, Luis Alexander Basabe (along with his twin brother, Luis Alejandro) received a signing bonus from the Boston Red Sox as his gift. Basabe’s first two seasons in that organization were spent in the DSL, where the Venezuelan posted decent but unspectacular numbers. After playing in the New York-Penn League in 2015, Basabe started moving up the prospect charts in 2016 with Salem (A) and Greenville as he combined to slash .264/.328/.452 in 110 games with 26 doubles, nine triples, 12 homers, 53 RBIs and 25 stolen bases. Then in December of that year, Basabe was traded along with Yoán Moncada, Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz for ace hurler Chris Sale in a blockbuster deal.

In Basabe’s first year in the White Sox organization, he struggled with Winston-Salem, at .221/.320/.320 in 107 games with 12 doubles, five triples, five homers, 36 RBIs, 17 stolen bases, 49 walks (11.3%) and 104 strikeouts (23.9%); the struggles were due in large part to a torn meniscus. At the end of the season, Basabe was added to the 40-man roster to prevent him from being snatched from another squad via the Rule 5 draft. The 2018 season was his most successful in the White Sox system, as he combined with Winston-Salem and Birmingham to slash .258/.354/.445 in 119 games with 21 doubles, eight triples, 15 homers, 56 RBIs, 16 stolen bases, 64 walks (12.4%) and 140 strikeouts (27.2%).

Injuries (Basabe broke the hamate bone in his left hand during spring training and lost more at-bats to a recurring quadriceps injury during the season) greatly impacted Basabe in 2019. As a result, he slashed just .246/.324/.336 in 69 games for Birmingham with 12 doubles, one triple, three homers, 30 RBIs, nine stolen bases, 29 walks (10.0%) and 85 strikeouts (29.2%).

Basabe didn’t originally begin the 2020 season with the White Sox taxi squad, but did play at the alternate site in Schaumburg. And that’s not to suggest it wasn’t an eventful year for him. When the Sox added reliever Brady Lail to its active roster, the White Sox designated Basabe for assignment on August 4 — ultimately trading him to the San Francisco Giants five days later for cash considerations. About a month after that, Basabe was promoted to San Francisco where he spent two weeks as a reserve outfielder. During that cup of coffee, he got two hits in 14 at-bats with an RBI, two stolen bases, four walks and five strikeouts.

The 2021 season was quite a different story for Basabe. He was designated for assignment in early February in order to make room room in the 40-man roster for new Giants free agent acquisition Tommy La Stella. Then, on March 10, he suffered a sprained left wrist. In between injury rehab assignments with the Giants’ ACL squad, he spent time with the team’s Double-A affiliate in Richmond. In 33 games totaling 95 combined at-bats, he slashed .253/.393/.411 with six doubles, three homers, 12 RBIs, five stolen bases, 21 walks (17.9%) and 37 strikeouts (31.6%). He opted for minor league free agency, and it was announced on November 24 that he had re-signed with the White Sox on a minor league deal.

Basabe, at the time he was claimed by the Giants, ranked 12th on the White Sox prospect list according to MLB Pipeline. His most significant tools at the time were considered his running and arm (60 each), fielding 55, power 50 and hitting 45. Despite his low homer output (likely due to that hamate injury), Basabe does indeed have 20-homer power, as evidenced by his blast off a 102-mph fastball from Cincinnati’s Hunter Greene in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The biggest concern is Basabe’s bat, similar to younger versions of Moncada, Basabe strikes out far too often after taking way too many called third strikes.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

31. Luis Basabe, RF
32. McKinley Moore, RHRP
33. Emilio Vargas, RHSP
34. Blake Rutherford, LF
35. Anderson Severino, LHRP
36. DJ Gladney, 3B
37. Luke Shilling, RHRP
38. Chase Krogman, LF
39. Cristian Mena, RHSP
40. Benyamín Bailey, LF
41. Tyler Johnson, RHRP
42. Andrew Perez, LHRP
43. Tyler Neslony, LF
44. Theo Denlinger, RHRP
45. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
46. Jefferson Mendoza, C
47. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
48. Gil Luna Jr. LHRP
49. John Parke, LHSP
50. Victor Quezada, 3B
51. Haylen Green, LHRP
52. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
53. Yoelvin Silven, RHRP
54. Taylor Broadway, RHRP
55. Noah Owen, RHRP
56. Luis Curbelo, 3B
57. Bryce Bush, RF
58. James Beard, CF
59. Xavier Fernández, C
60. Wilber Sánchez, SS
61. Kohl Simas, RHRP
62. Johan Dominguez, RHSP
63. Jagger Rusconi, 2B
64. Ronaldo Guzman, LHSP
65. Laz Rivera, 3B
66. Adam Hackenberg, C
67. Will Kincanon, RHRP
68. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
69. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
70. Randel Mondesi, RF
71. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
72. Zack Muckenhirn, LHRP
73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP