The White Sox recently signed a trio of players, one of whom is a guy many of you will likely recognize.
According to Baseball America’s Chris Hilburn-Trenkle, the club has inked RHP Luke Shilling, second baseman Jagger Suconi, and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe to minor league deals.
Out of the three, Basabe is the name that jumps out here. The now 25-year-old was originally part of the return in the Chris Sale trade along with third baseman Yoan Moncada, and right-handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz. After spending four years in the organization as an intriguing prospect, Basabe was designated for assignment and moved to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations in August 2020.
The outfielder went on to make his Major League debut and nine appearances for the Giants that season before being bumped from the 40-man roster in February after suffering a wrist injury. Basabe eventually appeared in a mere 22 games for San Francisco’s Double-A affiliate in 2021 where he slashed .206/.349/.338 (14-for-68), with three doubles, two home runs, nine RBI, 5 stolen bases, 15 walks, and 26 strikeouts. He also played 11 games in the Arizona League before electing free agency on November 7th.
Though Basabe topped out at Double-A Birmingham during his first stint, the Sox will give him one final shot to see if he can prove any worth in 2022. His speed and defense are his bread and butter, so that could work well in his favor if he can manage to get his bat at an average level.
As for Luke Shilling, the 24-year-old has had a rough go during his early career. Dating back to 2018, injury after injury after injury has left him unable to compete during the majority of his time in the organization. Despite finally getting his first taste of minor league baseball this past season, the right-handed hurler is back on the injured list and will stay there for the 2022 season as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery
Rusconi, the third player signed, spent time across four levels in the organization last season – Arizona League, Low-A Kannapolis, High-A Winston-Salem, and Double-A Birmingham. During those 43 games, he hit .265/.337/.368 (41-for-155) with nine doubles, two triples, a homer, 17 RBI, and .705 OPS. Like Shilling, the 25-year-old will look to avoid the injury bug that’s often plagued him and likely begin next season up the middle with the Birmingham Barons.
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