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Semien making strong case for roster spot

Semien making strong case for roster spot

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Utility infielder Marcus Semien is making a strong case for a spot on the White Sox Opening Day roster, and he's doing it everywhere.

The 23-year-old former sixth-round Draft pick out of University of California-Berkeley has excelled at the plate and in the field this spring, appearing in 15 Cactus League games and amassing a .348 batting average. He's played second base, third base and shortstop.

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"It's good confidence against some of the pitchers I've been facing," Semien said. "I just want to keep working hard and show them I can do some things to help the team win."

Semien hopes to remain a mainstay as things heat up in Spring Training and games -- and lineups -- begin to more closely resemble the regular season. That can prove to be a more telling litmus test for the team's No. 8 overall prospect in 2013, according to MLB.com.

"It's a good feeling when you get a start during these last couple weeks, because that means you're going to get 3-4 at-bats most of the time, and you want to take advantage of that," Semien said. "If you're coming off the bench, just treat it like any other big-league game and be prepared for when you get in."

Semien says he works during batting practice to take ground balls at each position every day, and he's willing to play everywhere. He made his way into 21 Major League games in his debut season last year, batting .261 with two homers, four doubles, seven RBIs and two stolen bases.

At the time, he'd played just 304 Minor League games, covering parts of three seasons in the White Sox farm system, and tallied 1,375 plate appearances.

In his time spent between Triple-A Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham last year, he hit .284 with 32 doubles, 19 home runs and 66 RBIs.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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