Basabe flying under White Sox radar, but only just

March 6th, 2017

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When was a young baseball player in Venezuela, he admired all of the players from the Leones del Caracas squad.

Basabe enjoyed their style of play, but there also was something about their uniforms that caught his eye.

"They were white and black," said a smiling Basabe through interpreter Billy Russo during a conversation with on Monday.

That uniform color choice makes it seem only natural that Basabe has moved to the Chicago White Sox. The switch-hitting outfielder was part of the Chris Sale trade with Boston, coming over with infielder and pitchers and Victor Diaz.

Moncada and Kopech already have received a large amount of attention and publicity, which is understandable considering their lofty prospect status, while Diaz has earned notice for his big arm. But White Sox fans haven't overlooked Basabe -- who has a twin brother in the Arizona system -- and neither has the organization.

"He's been really impressive," White Sox director of player development Chris Getz said. "He's gotten better every single day."

The White Sox brought Basabe to their Minor League mini-camp to get an early start on Spring Training. He's shown the ability to hit from both sides and has a great deal of speed in the outfield, per Getz, although he added the White Sox are fine-tuning some of his routes.

Although there was an adjustment to be made with his new team, Basabe certainly has no shortage of confidence in his ability to succeed.

"I think I have five tools," Basabe said. "I can hit for average. I can hit for power. I have very good speed. My arm is very good. I feel I can do everything. But the one thing that I think that that's going to characterize me is I'm humble. I'm very humble."

"You look at the tools, he's got a little bit of everything in there with a little bit more," Getz said. "He has a smile on his face. He engages well with this teammates and coaches. He loves to play. That will bode well for him in the long term. I think we've got a chance to develop something special."

Basabe's current goal is simple: get better every day. Ultimately, he wants to play a significant role in the rebuild.

"Projections and just small talk that people are having about me make me feel good, make me feel motivated, like I have the abilities to play in the Majors, to be a very good player," Basabe said. "That's why I come here every day and try to work hard every day because I know that people believe in me and I believe in myself too."