Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
DOB: August 26, 1996
BATS: B / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Trade with Chicago White Sox (Basabe for cash)
LAST LEVEL: MLB
GiantFutures Ranks: #7 Corner Outfield
Performance: In his eighth pro season, Basabe was designated for assignment by the White Sox, which allowed the Giants to trade for him for cash. Basabe made his Major League debut, appearing in nine games for the Giants, going 2-for-14, but also collecting four walks while striking out five times.
Before that, Basabe’s highest level was Double-A, where he slashed .246/.324/.336 with Birmingham in the Southern League. He had only three home runs, his lowest total in the pros since 2014, his second season after being signed.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Basabe has average tools across the board, though he’s had some problems taking advantage of them recently. His best tools are his athleticism, as he has a plus arm and plus speed, which can allow him to work both on the basepaths and cover all the outfield positions.
Basabe’s biggest struggle has been trying to make good contact, which he’s had throughout his career, as he’s a .248/.345/.392 career minor league hitter. In 2019, his 29.2% strikeout rate in Double-A is concerning, a big spike for him.
He also has two weaknesses that aren’t found on the stat sheet. The first is his health, as he’s had knee, quad, and hand problems in the past few years. The other is his 40-man roster spot. With PBO Farhan Zaidi’s penchant for picking up players up and down on waivers, Basabe’s spot will be valuable and he may be vulnerable to be back on waivers.
2021 Outlook: Basabe did not look ready for the Majors in 2020, but there weren’t many options. The Giants will likely put Basabe in Triple-A Sacramento to give him opportunities to see what he can do, and if the change of organizations can get him back on the right track.
Future Profile: Basabe’s talented, but without being able to consistently tap into it, there’s not much of a look of a starter here. If he can pick things up, he looks like a capable fourth outfielder, with the ability to cover center field.