CHICAGO—Chris Bassitt is letting his right arm do most of the talking, and it’s turned out to be a good thing for him and the White Sox.
Bassitt, 24, has gradually emerged as one of the more promising pitching prospects in the Sox’s organization despite the lack of hype.
“I understand why no one recruited me,” said Bassitt, who pitched at Genoa Area High (Clay, Ohio), with an enrollment of less than 600, and Akron. “I came from a small high school. I didn’t go to any of the camps, which was a big mistake. I didn’t put my name out there. I didn’t do the work.
“I wasn’t able to be seen, so it was a fluke. I threw well against one of the schools in Ohio, and that’s how I got to my college. But I don’t have any grudges against any college that didn’t recruit me.”
The Sox believe they might have a sleeper in the 6-foot-5 Bassitt as a 16th-round pick in the 2011 draft. Through his first four starts, Bassitt is 2-0, 2.74 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 23 innings.
“I took (getting picked in the 16th round) as more of an honor,” Bassitt said. “I didn’t care about the (lack of bonus) money or the round I was picked. It was just an honor of getting the opportunity of what I wanted to do. It again was proving to myself what I was.”
Bassitt, whose fastball touches 95 mph, hopes he’s corrected his bouts of wildness that put a blemish on an otherwise exceptional 2012 season at high Class A Winston-Salem, where he split his time between starting and relieving but walked 54 in 91 innings.
“Last year I was trying to develop a changeup and changing my mechanics here and there,” said Bassitt, who had walked eight in his first four starts of 2013. “But for all the struggles, I feel this is the best I’ve been. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
“The walks, I need to drop those big-time. When I don’t beat myself, it’s hard for me to get beat. It’s not beating myself in the long run.”
• Outfielder Jared Mitchell was optioned to Double-A Birmingham after hitting only .132 with 27 strikeouts in 53 at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte.
• At the end of spring training, general manager Rick Hahn didn’t rule out a major league promotion for pitcher Erik Johnson. Through four starts at Birmingham, Johnson was 2-0, 1.07 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 25 innings.