May 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) connects for a triple in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Stats and baseball go hand-in-hand with each other, and for the Chicago White Sox, one pleasant surprise for them this season has been the play of third baseman Conor Gillaspie.
Gillaspie has played in 34 games this season for the White Sox, and his play for this 2014 season is something worth taking a closer look at because a lot can be said by a player and his numbers.
Here is a quick look at Gillaspie, inside the numbers.
Verses right-handed pitching
The play of Gillaspie against right-handed pitching is a strength. He is batting an impressive .375, and has an even more impressive OBP of .421.
Looking at his RBI totals, 16 of his 18 RBIs have been against righties. Looking at the walks by Gillaspie, he has faced about three times as many righties as lefties (96 at-bats to 32 at-bats).
The walk totals are distributed the same way. He has nine walks compared to two walks respectively (against left-handed pitchers). Strikeouts go up as well, as Gillaspie has 16 strikeouts vs. RHP and five strikeouts vs. LHP.
Verses left-handed pitching
Since Gillaspie bats left-handed, this is the tougher of the pitchers to face.
Gillaspie bats .281 against lefties, with an OBP of only .314. The RBI and walk totals are way down as well, (compared to his numbers vs. RHP) as he has just two RBIs and two walks against lefties.
That could be an effect of facing less of them, but part of it is he doesn’t fare quite as well against left-handed pitching. Even though he seems to struggle more against lefties, he only has six strikeouts. That includes the two from Wednesday night against Cleveland.
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A quick summary
One fact that can’t be overlooked is Gillaspie has yet to hit a home run this season.
Yes, it is true that third base is a power position traditionally, but if your third baseman is a .300-plus hitter, is that something that your want to get rid of?
Especially if that third baseman doesn’t strike out a lot, because Gillaspie’s strikeout rate is at 14.8 percent?
If you are going to score runs consistently, you need high average, line-drive hitters, and Gillaspie is leading the White Sox in line drive percentage at 33 percent.
Those are the type of guys you want in your lineup, especially in this current White Sox lineup that already has some good power hitters.
Traditionally, the White Sox are a power-hitting team, and this year’s team has a few power hitters in the lineup, including rookie first baseman Jose Abreu.
Putting Gillaspie in the current White Sox lineup helps off-set the high strikeout totals that many of the power hitters will put up, and helps the White Sox score runs consistently as the season continues.
Gillaspie may not hit for power, but in this case the consistent presence at the plate he brings works out well for the White Sox.