Dayan Viciedo was a nice addition last year. He didn’t play a bad left field, especially considering he was pretty much learning on the job. He hit fairly well for what essentially was his rookie season with a .225/.300/.444 line and 25 home runs. At 23 there is still hope that he can make some adjustments and improve at the plate, especially his patience, posting only 28 walks for the season. According to his WAR, he was just behind Adam Dunn in terms of value, .9 to .6, yes point 6. Even so, it is easy to look at WAR and say Viciedo wasn’t very good, but the options for the White Sox weren’t any better, frankly the replacement player would have been worse than the fictional replacement player used to developed WAR. Well not all of them, but most of them. The one player who, in limited time, was on par with Viciedo, and again based on 31 plate appearances, was Dan Johnson, who is 32. I’d much rather give the 24 year old the at bats.
Looking forward to this year, I can’t anticipate he’ll be much better than the projections from Bill James and James has him improving to .271/.316/.455. I do like that at 24 he gets to hit behind a lot of veteran hitters so the really isn’t a great deal of pressure on him to produce. If Rios, Konerko, and Dunn all put up numbers similar to last year, and putting Keppinger at second or third in the lineup, then Viciedo gets to bat fairly low in the order, probably sixth or seventh. I would love to see him hit a few more homeruns than the 24 that are projected. If he hits 30 that would be a great bonus for the White Sox, and maybe be a sign that he is becoming the power hitter we had all hoped for when Hawk dubbed him “the Tank.” Unfortunately, like a tank Viciedo has no speed. It amazes me that even at such a young age he only attempted to steal twice, caught both times. Even Adam Dunn stole two bases last year.
As mentioned, Viciedo had a pretty decent year defensively. He had positive numbers in the runs above average and runs saved categories and had an impressive 13 assists from left field, tied for second among outfielders. Seeing how 2013 will be his second year ever at the position I feel pretty confident that his defense will improve as far as the statistics are concerned.