The 19-year-old slugger has crushed five home runs in as many games, but his latest trot around the bases meant a little more than the others.
The highly touted prospect -- who has seen time behind the dish, at first base and as the designated hitter -- was the hero of Thursday night’s 6-5 win at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium after launching a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, the first such roundtripper of his pro career.
Shortly after the IronBirds saw their four-run ninth-inning margin erased in the top half of the frame, Basallo stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom half and sealed the deal with one ferocious swing in an 0-2 count.
The hard-hitting backstop’s walk-off blast was his third hit of the contest, with each having plated a run. MLB Pipeline’s No. 47 overall prospect finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, giving him his 11th performance this year with at least three knocks.
The banner night marks the latest standout showing from Basallo, who has been tearing the cover off the ball since earning a promotion to High-A following a successful stint with Single-A Delmarva.
High-A (25 games): .326/.439/.652, 7 homers, 23 RBIs, 58 total bases
Single-A (83 games): .299/.384/.503, 12 homers, 60 RBIs, 149 wRC+
Over his past 12 games, the lefty-swinging slugger with a 55-grade power tool is slashing .436/.577/1.026 and has compiled 10 extra-base hits. Since being promoted to Aberdeen on July 31, Basallo has routinely flashed the game-changing power and hitting ability the Orioles coveted when they rewarded him with -- at the time -- the richest contract ($1.3 million) they’d given an international prospect.
In a system chock full of hitters brimming with explosive offense potential, Basallo, at just 19 and with only 108 games of affiliate ball under his belt, is proving to be the latest in a line of electric bats climbing the ranks on the way to Baltimore.