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Davidson squarely in mix for third-base job

Keppinger, Gillaspie to compete with newly acquired prospect at camp

CHICAGO -- Matt Davidson certainly appears to be the White Sox third baseman of the future.

Whether that future begins for Davidson at the open of the 2014 season has yet to be decided. The 22-year-old acquired from Arizona in an offseason trade for closer Addison Reed sits in the Spring Training mix for the starting job, but manager Robin Ventura wouldn't go as far as classifying the job as Davidson's to lose.

"We still have guys who can play there, but it's a competition, definitely," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, speaking after a team-run anti-bullying program at McClellan Elementary School on Wednesday. "He has every reason to go in there and try to win the job.

"That's for a lot of spots. Guys are going to come in and you have a chance to win that job, but you do have other guys who can play there. Depending on how it goes in Spring Training, you make adjustments after that. But I venture to say for him he's going in there trying to win the job."

Davidson, who checks in at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, possesses the classic power of a corner infielder. Ventura watched the right-handed-hitting Davidson during last week's minicamp at Camelback Ranch and came away thinking he was physically bigger than he imagined and moves around better than the previous reports indicated.

A logjam already exists at third base, with Conor Gillaspie and Jeff Keppinger in the mix, not to mention Marcus Semien. The White Sox like Gillaspie's easy left-handed swing and expect Keppinger, who is under contract for two years, $8.5 million, to have a better performance than his White Sox debut.

If Davidson makes the team out of Spring Training, an active roster problem takes shape.

Ultimately the plan with Davidson figures to mirror what the White Sox did with Avisail Garcia. He won't come to the Majors until there are everyday at-bats available.

"You want him to play. But you start watching him, moving around, how he goes about his business, he fits the part. He looks like a big leaguer," Ventura said. "He can hit and has the power and everything else. Defensively, I got that rap, too, for a while, so I'm not worried about that."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
Read More: Chicago White Sox, Matt Davidson, Jeff Keppinger, Conor Gillaspie