Angel Basabe: Hot July Earns Quick Promotion To Greensboro

Not every player is going to get off to a great start to the season, especially if it’s level they’ve never played before.

Usually it’s something small, unnoticeable to some that sparks the ‘I can do this at this level’ moment. Then from there they just take off.

That’s a good way to describe Angel Basabe’s first taste of Single-A. It got off to a rough start, then he adjusted. He took off and put himself in position where — when circumstances allowed it — he got a promotion to High-A after just 25 games with Bradenton.

After being signed during the 2017-2018 international signing period, Basabe slowly worked his way up the ladder, playing in the FCL during the 2021 season. He didn’t do too much offensively (.214/.314/.308, eight extra-base hits in 38 games), which led him to not start this season with Bradenton.

He eventually was moved up to Bradenton and got off to a rather quiet start in the first month he played. Basabe slashed .200/.294/.244 with a 63 wRC+ in his first 14 games he played. He had just one extra-base hit, a triple, although he showed some good patience at the plate (9.8 BB%, 15.7 K%).

July hit and something clicked for Basabe, as he started to drive the ball and put himself in a position to show off his speed.

He didn’t hit a home run with Bradenton but did pick up four triples in the 25 games he played with them – three of which came in July.

Overall, Basabe looked like a completely different hitter in July, slashing .345/.441/.586 with a 189 wRC+. He also drew as many walks as time he struck out (five).

I looked at Basabe’s success from two different angles, one by video, the other, his statcast numbers from Baseball Savant.

As far as his metrics, I broke down how he did in June, July, and then added in what the major league average is, just for an added perspective.

June July MLB Average
Exit Velocity 82.9 mph 87.4 mph 88.4 mph
Launch Angle -0.24° 11.6° 12.1°
Hard Hit% 35.1% 39.1% 35.7%
Barrel% 0% 8.6% 6.7%
Sweet Spot% 18.9% 47.8% 33%

Just looking at the metrics you can see part of the problem for Basabe in June — he wasn’t getting any lift on the ball. He had a negative average launch angle, with his ‘sweet spot percentage’ likely playing a factor in that.

A ball is hit in the ‘sweet spot’ when it has a launch angle between eight and 32 degrees. Once July hit, he started to hit the ball harder, with the exit velocity and launch angle that put him in position to succeed.

He has put up some metrics higher than the major league average, and his exit velocity is barely below.

Next, looking at some video, here are five different plate appearances that stood out when watching him this season.

One theme throughout the video that impressed was his ability to get low and drive the ball at the bottom, or below, the zone. The first clip was a double he hit the other way on a changeup low.

The next two are outs he recorded, but I was impressed with the plate appearance overall. Basabe sees all breaking pitches in the next clip, but was able to stay back on one and give it a good drive to left field for a fly out.

That’s followed up by a strike out, but he fights off a couple of good pitches to stay alive, even holding off on a good chase breaking ball in the dirt.

Basabe falls behind former first round pick Jackson Jobe 0-2 but drives a fastball to right center for a base hit. Finally, Basabe again reaches down and turns on a fastball down the line for a triple. It was the fourth hardest ball he hit by ways of exit velocity (106.4 mph) during his time in Bradenton.

One of the prominent additions to the system during his signing period, Basabe looked like he was getting ready to get phased out of the system. He came to Bradenton, struggled, adjusted, and now finds himself in Greensboro where he’s already doubled and hit his first home run since 2018 in the DSL.

It’s a path you would like a lot of the lower level players make as they fight for position to move up the ladder.


Williams: Ben Cherington’s Pittsburgh Pirates Trade History

Prospect Roundtable: Which Second Half Surges Are You Buying?

Prospect Roundtable: Which Players Might Repeat a Level Next Year?

Angel Basabe: Hot July Earns Quick Promotion To Greensboro

+ posts

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

We need an angel in the outfield!


Great analysis!

Are you able to add the max exit velocity and the 90th percentile EV?


We’ve certainly cornered the market on left-handed hitters.


I’d love to know the analysis and conversations that went into promoting Basabe over Bowen. Maybe it had something to do with being able to manage the strike zone–evidently Basabe has figured that out while Bowen still has some work to do. But I’m sure there’s more to it than that.


Great write up. Is he an OF’er or infielder?


Love the analysis!

Pirates Prospects Daily


Latest articles

Latest comments