Aug 24, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) rounds the bases on his home run during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Davidson immediately became the third baseman of the future for the White Sox, even though Conor Gillaspie had a solid rookie campaign in 2013.
Here is a comparison of their stats, their futures, and what the White Sox should do going forward at third base
When the White Sox acquired Gillaspie, he was a minor league prospect with the Giants. In return, the White Sox sent a talented but oft wild relief pitcher in Jeff Soptic.
Gillaspie was a trade chip for the Giants for two reasons. First, he was being blocked at third by Pablo Sandoval, and secondly they were out of minor league options for him.
The White Sox were a fit for the Giants due to the fact that the White Sox needed a left-handed bat, as well as the Giants needed a high-upside closing prospect.
So far, the Sox have gotten the better of the deal. Soptic’s wildness has followed him to the Giants system (99 walks the last two years in 107.1 innings pitched) , while Gillaspie has become one of the better young third baseman in the Americal League.
Last season, Gillaspie got off to a hot start only to fall off late. He still hit 13 home runs in 408 at-bats, and was one of the bright spots in a horrible season.
This year, Gillaspie has been arguably the most consistent White Sox hitter outside of Jose Abreu, considering he is hitting .303 going into tonight game. While he isn’t hitting for much power (6 home runs in 383 at-bats) he is still getting on base.
Feb 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson (22) fields a ball during a workout at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Davidson entered the 2014 season as a Top 100 prospect in all of baseball, and was considered among many to be a Top 5 third base prospect in all of baseball.
While he went into the season with a lot of hype, he has disappointed in a big way. Even though his power numbers have been good (20 home runs and 55 RBIs), he has struggled mightily to make contact.
His strikeout totals are almost as bad as Adam Dunn’s, considering he has 158 strikeouts on the season. There was a time this year when Davidson got hot, but for the most part his bat has been silent.
Considering he has played the entire season at Triple-A Charlotte, his power numbers should be high just because the ballpark is conducive to home runs.
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All in all, it is hard to make a decision right now who is the third baseman of the future. Davidson still has upside, and he has power from the right side, something that isn’t easy to find these days.
Also, third base is a power hitters position not a contact position. If they can find a way to put Gillaspie in left field or another position where they are thin, it would be beneficial to the team to get both in the lineup together at the same time.
Neither players’ defense is exceptional, but if they can just be average, and hit up to their ability the White Sox could have two solid players for years to come.