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Gillaspie's future could include more power

Gillaspie's future could include more power play video for Gillaspie's future could include more power

CHICAGO -- Conor Gillaspie entered Wednesday's game at Wrigley Field leading American League rookies in hits (38) and extra-base hits (11), while ranking second in on-base percentage (.354), average (.292) and slugging (.431) and third in homers (three).

Gillaspie has been consistent over his 130 at-bats this season by trying not to do too much with what the pitcher gives him, flashing a solid swing featuring good gap power. But White Sox hitting coach Jeff Manto believes Gillaspie could hit for longer distance in the future, playing a position that usually demands extra-base potential.

"He'll go 10 to 15 [homers] at some point," Manto said of Gillaspie, who was acquired from the Giants for Minor League pitcher Jeff Soptic on Feb. 22. "We have to remember that he's doing so well right now that he's simply a rookie.

"He has to learn the pitchers. He has to learn different counts on what he's able to do at this level. We'll see where he fits in. I don't know quite yet. I know he definitely can hit for average."

One of the reasons Gillaspie can hit for average is his fundamentally sound swing.

"It's a low-maintenance swing, that's for sure. He's a low-maintenance guy and he's very intense," Manto said. "You have to tell him things once. There's very little timing mechanisms going on with him. You have a guy who is as intense and as intelligent as he is, it makes for an easy day."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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