Basak Brings Versatility

Basak is looking to impress his new team

Mets' utility infielder Chris Basak hit .267 with eight home runs and 17 stolen bases for the Norfolk Tides in Triple-A last year in the International League. The sixth round pick out of the University of Illinois in 2000 has a career .265 average, and while he doesn't bring a lot of power with him, he does give the Yankees a little more versatility after signing with them on Wednesday.


"I'm definitely excited about it," Chris Basak said about signing with the Yankees. "If you're going to shoot for one team, that's the team to shoot for."

He averaged hitting .265 with 23 doubles, four triples, nearly seven home runs, and 23 stolen bases per year in his seven-year career with the Mets, but his career never took off after hitting .349 with a NY-Penn League leading 18 doubles and 32 stolen bases with Pittsfield (now the Brooklyn Cyclones) back in 2000.

"The Mets organization had a lot of great people in it," said the now 28-year old infielder. "I enjoyed working with some of the coaches that I had, pretty much all the coaches I had. As far as what went wrong and why I'm at where I'm at, I really don't know."

"I'm a gap to gap hitter that can hit a home run every once in a while. I do have a little speed for the bases too."

The numbers he has posted as of late, while not spectacular, have been quite solid but with the ability to play shortstop, second base, third base, and even some outfield, Basak says he has more to offer than just statistics.

"My versatility," he listed as his biggest strength, "my ability to play pretty much any position on the field, including shortstop, which is definitely a strength for me. I'm real comfortable at third. I also got into 15 or 20 games in the outfield last year."

While he is quick to admit his versatility is his biggest strength and that could be the deciding factor in getting his shot at the big leagues, he also points out that he is not settling for merely a utility role.

"I'm not sure if I don't see myself as an everyday player," said the right-handed hitter, "but one way to make it to the big leagues would be as a utility player. Realistically that would be my best chance so that's the only reason I'm emphasizing that."

Basak says his main focus after signing with the Yankees, an organization he is very familiar with after playing against them each of the last seven years with the Mets, is working on his batting average and becoming more consistent at the plate.

With an invitation to big league camp with the Yankees this Spring, Basak will get his opportunity to impress his new team and he says he is excited about getting a fresh start.

"I think one good thing about going to a new organization is you have a new set of eyes on you all the time and new people to impress," he admitted. "I guess one of my goals is to go in and have a lot of fun and really enjoy big league camp and see what happens and go from there. The number one goal is always to make the big leagues."


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