Chicago White Sox Player Review: Conor Gillaspie


Sep 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) hits a single in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In 130 games in 2014, Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie had a very good season, one the White Sox can use to build on for 2015 and beyond.

Aug 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) makes a play on Detroit Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez (not pictured) during the seventh inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Gillaspie was on the disabled list this season from April 22-May 7, returning the the roster on May 8 where he went 2-for-4 against the Chicago Cubs at US Cellular Field.

For the ’14 campaign, to what equaled 464 at-bats, Gillaspie batted .282 with 131 hits. Of those hits, Gillaspie collected 31 doubles, five triples and seven home runs. He walked 36 times, struck out 78 times and had a grand total of 57 RBIs.

I really felt that Gillaspie was going to stay at the .300 mark for the season, but the month of September wasn’t kind to the White Sox third baseman, as he batted .183. That included the final 10 games of his season when he was 6-for-35 with one run and five RBIs, for a batting average of .171 in those games.

Gillaspie batted 20 points higher than his career average overall in ’14, with that being average of .262.

This was the type of season the White Sox needed from Gillaspie, and I expect even more from him next season at the plate.

At third base though, Gillaspie committed 12 errors in 127 games (307 chances) for a .961 fielding percentage. Gillaspie committed the seventh most errors at third base in the AL this past season and the 14th most in all of baseball.

There have been mentions of Pedro Alvarez of possibly becoming a White Sox this offseason, but his fielding numbers are worse than Gillaspie, as he led the majors in errors at third base with 25.

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Again, offensively for his .282 batting average (the third best on the White Sox) and a WAR (wins above replacement) of 1.5, up from his 0.2 WAR in ’13. Alverez’s WAR was 0.8 for the Pirates in ’14, with a batting average of .231.

If it were my decision, I would keep Gillaspie at third base, and look elsewhere to improve the roster in ’15. Gillaspie can work on his defense this winter, and by the time spring training rolls around, he’ll be much improved from where he was at the end of the ’14 season. I hope.

I’m not concerned with his home run numbers, as the White Sox should have plenty of those from others in ’15. The White Sox are lucky to have a player like Gillaspie on the roster (one who can bat near .300 all season), and I was pleased and even surprised by his overall season, but would like to see improvements on the defensive side.

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