White Sox prospect Chris Bassitt is back with the Barons, pitching as a starter for the first time since his last victory in the 2013 Southern League Championship Series. He’s performed well in two starts since returning, allowing only 2 ER in 11 innings of work, according to MiLB.com. Despite his under-the-radar prospect status, Bassitt figures to be in the White Sox major league plans in the next year or two. Had it not been for a broken hand suffered earlier this season, it was his goal to contribute to the team at the major league level even sooner.
Chris Bassitt was promoted to the Birmingham Barons on July 18th, 2013, according to the University of Akron’s Twitter account. The promotion may have had something to do with the 101 batters he struck out as a member of the Winston-Salem Dash that year. He responded to the promotion by helping the Barons win the 2013 Southern League Championship. In eight regular season Double-A starts he posted a 4-2 record with a 2.27 ERA, per Baseball-Reference.com. In the Southern League playoffs he provided the Barons an edge by staking the team to a 1-0 lead in each of their series, winning both playoff starts and allowing only one earned run in 12.2 innings.
After his impressive showing in 2013, Chris Bassitt ranked 15th among the White Sox prospects, according to John Sickels from SBNation. What makes him an interesting prospect, as Nathaniel Stoltz at FanGraphs points out, is that he employs a range of pitches and delivers from a three-quarter arm slot. As you can see from the video below, he has a lively fastball, which apparently boasts plenty of movement as a result of the lower arm slot.
Bassitt also seems to know how to mix his speeds, blowing fastballs right by hitters and utilizing breaking balls to get batters out in front of his pitches. Here’s an example of a back door breaking ball that contributed to his strikeout total as a member of the Dash.
The right-hander has flourished as a starter the last couple years, but also has plenty of relief experience. Given his ability to run a four-seam fastball into the mid-90s, and the addition of what he describes as a “hard slider” to his repertoire, he’ll eventually be an asset to the staff in some capacity. I expect Bassitt to start for the Charlotte Knights during the first half of next season. I hope to see the White Sox prospect get a shot in the big leagues at some point in 2015, based on the current roster’s performance. If his minor league experience is any indication, Chris Bassitt looks like he’s ready to get a #Whiff of the Southside.