More bad news for the White Sox: Prospect Luis Basabe broke a bone in his hand

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USA TODAY

More bad news for the White Sox: Prospect Luis Basabe broke a bone in his hand

The White Sox were already enduring plenty of bad news on Tuesday when Manny Machado agreed to a deal with the Padres.

If the White Sox also miss out on Bryce Harper, that means the team will move forward going back to relying on the stable of young players and prospects taking the team back into contention. With that in mind, it’s extra deflating for White Sox fans that prospect Luis Alexander Basabe suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand during batting practice Monday in Arizona.


Basabe will have surgery Wednesday in Chicago. He is set to miss 4-6 weeks and then gear back up for the season with a late May return timetable for now.

The outfield prospect was one of the pieces going from the Red Sox to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. He reached Double-A Birmingham in 2018, and with a breakout 2019 had an outside shot of earning a big league call-up late in 2019.

Basabe was the No. 9 prospect according to MLB Pipeline (which is set to update its list on Wednesday) at the end of the 2018 season. He featured in the Futures Game in July and blasted a 102 mph pitch out for a home run.

Last season, Basabe hit .266/370/.502 in Single-A Winston-Salem before earning a promotion to Birmingham. There, he hit .251/.340/.394 in 270 plate appearances. The 22-year-old is considered somewhat raw and went to the Arizona Fall League after the season ended to get more reps.

Considering the White Sox were trying to get him more playing time by sending him to Arizona, having him miss the start of 2019 (and big league camp in spring training) is definitely not what the front office would have envisioned for him this season.

 

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Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Luis Alexander Basabe homers in Futures Game

Top White Sox MiLB moments of 2018: Luis Alexander Basabe homers in Futures Game

With the White Sox season over, we're looking back on the top 10 moments of the club's minor league season. We'll unveil one per day for 10 days, showcasing each moment in chronological order.

The moment: Luis Alexander Basabe homers in the Futures Game off a 102 mph pitch, July 15.

Basabe batted lead off for the World in the Futures Game and stole the show in his second plate appearance.

The Venezuelan outfielder faced off against 2017 Reds first-round pick Hunter Greene. Greene came home with a 102 mph fastball. Basabe took it deep to right-center for a home run.

Basabe's season: Basabe was a much less heralded part of the Chris Sale trade with Boston. Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech were the centerpieces and both have already made their major league debuts.

Basabe was younger, more raw and not as highly touted as Moncada and Kopech, but 2018 ended up being a breakout year of sorts. He returned to Single-A Winston-Salem after struggling there in 2017 and showed his improvement by hitting .266/.370/.502.

Basabe earned a promotion to reach Double-A Birmingham before his 22nd birthday. He held his own with the Barons, hitting .251/.340/.394. Those numbers aren't going to blow anyone away, but he showed a good batting eye and decent power at an advanced level for his age. Basabe was the youngest player on the Barons' roster to finish the season.

There are plenty of talented outfield prospects in the White Sox system. Basabe is currently ranked No. 9 in the system by MLB Pipeline, but sits behind fellow outfielders Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Blake Rutherford. Basabe's ability to play centerfield while showing good on-base skills give him an intriguing profile and he could prove to be much more than a throw-in from that Sale trade.

Luis Robert headlines group of White Sox prospects going to Arizona Fall League

Luis Robert headlines group of White Sox prospects going to Arizona Fall League

The minor league baseball season is winding down, with the regular season for most leagues ending on Monday, but the Arizona Fall League is right around the corner.

The White Sox are sending four players from MLB Pipeline's top 30 prospects, including No. 3 prospect Luis Robert. Zack Burdi, Luis Alexander Basabe and Laz Rivera are the other prospects heading to Arizona. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson round out the six White Sox representatives on the Glendale Desert Dogs.

The AFL is an offseason league that features a lot of prospects that are generally in the higher levels of the minors. Based on the rosters announced on Thursday, 17 of MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects are heading to the league, including Robert.

For Robert, it is a chance to get more playing time. This year was his first playing stateside since signing with the White Sox in 2017. He sprained a ligament in his left thumb in spring training and didn't play until June 5. On June 28 Robert had a four-hit game for the Winston-Salem Dash, but re-injured his thumb and didn't play again until July 31.

Not only did the injury limit Robert to fewer than 50 games this season, but he also appeared to struggle to get back to form after re-injuring it. Robert entered Thursday hitting .188 for the Dash in August after hitting .300 in June when he first played for the Dash.

The AFL will give Robert a chance to get some much-needed plate appearances after missing so much time in 2018.

That also applies to Burdi. Burdi was with Triple-A Charlotte and appeared on the verge of getting called up to the White Sox when he got shut down in July of 2017 and eventually had Tommy John surgery. Burdi was out for just over a calendar year. He returned to action with the White Sox Arizona League rookie affiliate in early August. He has made seven appearances since his return. Burdi can stay in Arizona to get more innings and work his way back to being the fireballing potential closer he was before the injury.

Basabe is another notable prospect heading to the desert. The 22-year-old earned a promotion from Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham in mid June and has held his own. Basabe hit .266/.370/.502 with the Dash and entered Thursday hitting .262/.356/.453 with the Barons. Basabe has not hit for average, but has shown the ability to draw walks and hit for power (15 home runs, 43 extra base hits in 115 games) while playing a premium position in centerfield.

Rivera has been a breakout player of sorts in the White Sox minor leagues this year. After being drafted in the 28th round of last year's draft, Rivera was on fire in Single-A Kannapolis. He hit .346 in 63 games with the Intimidators and earned a promotion to Winston-Salem. The 23-year-old entered Thursday hitting .281/.314/.457 with Winston-Salem. Rivera can prove his success this season is for real and can move up his prospect status with a good showing in Arizona against more advanced pitching than he has seen in Single A.

Banks, 26, and Thompson, 24, aren't high-profile prospects, but have had some success in Double-A this season. Banks has a 2.83 ERA in nine starts with the Barons after getting promoted from Winston-Salem. Thompson, a reliever, had a sub-2 ERA at both of those levels this season.

The AFL runs from Oct. 9 to Nov. 15.