By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) — Conor Gillaspie is hardly a household name in Major League Baseball.
If you have been paying attention,Gillaspie is starting to play like an All-Star selection for 2014. Obtained from the Giants in spring of 2013, the quiet 26-year-old White Sox third baseman is making an impact on his team.
“He is a line-drive hitter by nature,” manager Robin Ventura said after his team’s 6-2 victory against the Indians on Monday. “He does have power, and I think that will come. He has a very level swing. He hits things hard quite often. Power-wise, eventually that will come.”
Although Gillaspie has not homered in 122 at-bats, he has become a doubles machine (three on Monday and 12 for the season in 32 games) and is Ventura’s No. 3 hitter against right-hand pitchers. With four hits on Monday, Gillaspie has taken the team lead in batting average at .352.
“I can’t complain,” Gillaspie said. “They continue to throw me out there, regardless of what I did the day before. It is a good feeling that they trust in me to hit where I hit in the lineup. Being used to baseball at this level of baseball is half the battle for me.”
Since returning from the DL on May 8, Gillaspie has hit .403 in his last 16 games. His defense has been stellar, making tough plays look relatively easy. The four hits against Cleveland were a career-high.
“Truthfully, it was one of those days where they threw the ball where I was looking,” Gillaspie said. “This is a good team win, and everybody was excited to be out there on a nice, warm humid day for baseball.”
Gillaspie has at least one hit in 14 of the 16 games he has played in during the month of May. He is also hitting .529 against the Indians this season (9-for-17).
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.