Looking to add some left-handed punch to the roster, the White Sox acquired third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the Giants for minor-league right-hander Jeff Soptic on Friday. General manager Rick Hahn views Gillaspie as a complementary player to third baseman Jeff Keppinger.
Gillaspie, 25, a first-round sandwich pick in 2008, was fast-tracked to the majors in only 96 days but hasn’t lived up to initial expectations. He batted .281 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI in 108 games for Class AAA Fresno last season and played in six games with the Giants, going 3-for-20 with two RBI.
“He conceivably fits in nicely on the roster, which we’ll obviously decide more about toward the end of next month,’’ Hahn said. “But we see him having solid hit tools, above-average awareness of the strike zone, and he’s solid defensively. He gives us a little versatility in his ability to play third base as well as first. He gives [manager] Robin [Ventura] some options potentially.’’
In 514 games over five minor-league seasons, Gillaspie owns a .287 batting average and .358 on-base percentage with 37 homers and 259 RBI.
Soptic, 21, was 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 27 relief appearances with Class A Kannapolis in 2012. The Sox drafted him in the third round in 2011.
Gillaspie “has a good recognition of the strike zone, is able to get on base, work the count a bit,’’ Hahn said. “Although he’s not your prototypical power guy at third, he does spray the ball around pretty well and has a nice line-drive approach, which should play well in our park.’’
White Sox acquire 3B Conor Gillaspie’s lefty bat
Chicago Sun-Times | Feb 23