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Gillaspie gaining consistency at the plate

CHICAGO -- Conor Gillaspie hit 13 homers during his 2013 debut with the White Sox. He also finished with a .245 average and .305 on-base percentage, compared to his current .352 average and .394 on-base percentage. But White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson doesn't think Gillaspie is necessarily sacrificing power for average.

"He hasn't sacrificed any power," Steverson said. "He has hit some balls as sharp as anybody in this league, but they are just on a line. They don't have that kind of elevation.

"And it [isn't] about the average with me. It's what's behind the balls in play. And that matters for him. They have been good. He's been getting his doubles. A lot of people will say he doesn't have any home runs or nothing. It doesn't mean he can't do it, but you want to be a hitter first."

The White Sox have liked Gillaspie's easy swing since they acquired him from the Giants in Spring Training of 2013. Steverson said that Gillaspie has a "knack for the barrel" and doesn't have a whole lot of moving parts to his swing.

"Kind of a 'see it and hit it' kind of guy," Gillaspie said.

That combination could add up to Gillaspie consistently challenging that .300 mark.

"He's got the ability to consistently put balls in play, which gives him the opportunity to have that possibility," Steverson said. "To be a .300 hitter, you need to put the ball in play and keep taking your walks and then have a lot of luck. In baseball there aren't a whole lot of .300 hitters in general."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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