I can't believe it … I still can't believe it! Being part of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and being around the best prospects in the game was a surreal experience. On top of that, I was managed and coached by two of the game's greatest players in David Ortiz
I can't believe it … I still can't believe it! Being part of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and being around the best prospects in the game was a surreal experience. On top of that, I was managed and coached by two of the game's greatest players in David Ortiz and Vladimir Guerrero. It was just incredible.
I went to Washington with an open mind and a few goals: to enjoy the experience, to learn and to represent my country Venezuela and the Chicago White Sox organization. I think I did well on all of them.
I definitely enjoyed every moment of my time in Washington, on and off the field, where I had the opportunity to spend time with the fans, especially the younger ones, as part of our activity program.
I learned a lot, even more than I was expecting. Ortiz and Guerrero made a significant impact on me. Big Papi's speech during the World Team meeting was outstanding; he talked to us about confidence, about the game's challenges, about opportunities in this game and about life. His words touched me and strengthened my confidence.
Everybody wants to know about the home run that I hit off Hunter Greene. When I went to home plate, I already knew that Greene was one of the top prospects in the game and a flamethrower. I saw him throwing over 100 mph and I said to myself, "Well Luis, you have to be smart here, you need to get ready and charge fast if you want to do something good." And I did just that. I shortened my swing and choked up on the bat. When I saw his fastball coming in I just reacted and was able to put the barrel on the ball, and it flew toward the center-field seats. It was a blast.
It wasn't until I was running around the bases that I turned to the (video) board and saw the pitch's velocity. I was excited because I hit a homer off a pitch that was thrown at 102.3 mph. At that moment, I just said, "Thanks God. Thanks for this opportunity. Thanks for this blessing."
That homer put me on the radar, and everybody was talking about me. I went to Washington as an unknown guy and I left as Luis Basabe, the Venezuelan outfielder and White Sox prospect who hit a homer off Hunter Greene. That made me feel happy and honored because, one of my goals heading into the Futures Game was to represent my country and the White Sox organization at my best.
After the game, Big Papi met with the whole World Team and told us that he and all the coaching staff were very proud of us, and that he saw many guys on our team with the potential to reach the big leagues and become stars. Those words were encouraging.
Now that I'm back with the Birmingham Barons after that wonderful experience in the Futures Game, I can tell you that my confidence and motivation level are stronger and higher than before. I will continue to work hard to become the best possible player I can be, and finally reach my dream of playing in the big leagues with the Chicago White Sox.
As told to Billy Russo in Spanish.
Luis Basabe is a Minor League outfielder and the White Sox 13th-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.