Former Edenton Steamer Chris Bassitt made his major league debut August 30 getting the start for the Chicago White Sox. He went 6 1/3 innings allowing five earned runs and striking out four in the White Sox 5-4 loss to Detroit.
The 6-5, 200-pound right-hander was drafted out of the University of Akron by the White Sox in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. After spending the vast majority of his career as a reliever, he was converted to a starter in 2012 and has accumulated a 2.97 ERA with a 22-10 record and 303 strikeouts in 318 total innings pitched in the minors.
“I saw him in spring training,” manager Robin Ventura told the media. “He had a live arm. We were impressed with him then. Now you get a chance to see him up here against some good hitters.”
While Bassitt is likely going to be sent down tomorrow, the White Sox plan to bring him back up as soon as rosters expand on Monday. Regardless, the team saw this double-header as an opportunity to get him an early look at the big leagues.
“It’s an opportunity for him,” Ventura said. “He’s had more time and seasoning down there that I think this is just the right time to do it for him, and he’s earned it.”
Prior to leaving college, Bassitt spent his 2010 summer playing for the Steamers, who made a run all the way to the Petitt Cup Championship game before falling to Forest City in three games. Bassitt was a huge contributor out of the pen, finishing with a 1.87 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings pitched for Edenton.
Bassitt became the 74th CPL alum to make their major league debut and the tenth this season. He also marks the ninth Steamer to debut and the second already this season after fellow 2010 Steamer Billy Burns debuted for Oakland earlier this summer.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Further more, the CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 74 alums – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at CoastalPlain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).