Although relatively new to the team, it seems like Dayan Viciedo has been part of the White Sox family for some time.
Since the White Sox traded previous right fielder Carlos Quentin a few weeks ago, the 22 year-old Viciedo has basically secured the position in right. The young player came up to the majors on August 28th of the 2011 season and the fact that he didn’t arrive sooner was the subject of much debate in the Ozzie/Kenny Williams soap opera.
Viciedo showing his power
Viciedo was putting up stellar numbers in the minors and many fans figured that he was the answer to the offensive troubles headlined by Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. Unfortunately, this was a case of “too little, too late” as the White Sox could not turn it around in enough time to make a playoff push.
However, 2012 is a different story. Viciedo will be starting the season in right field. Taking an objective look at the situation, Viciedo’s in a similar spot as Brent Morel was at the beginning of the 2011 season. It was no secret that when Morel entered Spring Training last season he was battling for his spot at third base with Mark Teahan.
Obviously Morel won that battle since Teahan was traded to the Blue Jays a short while later.
Viciedo, like Morel, needs to prove to White Sox management and the fans that he belongs in that starter spot. Morel continues to impress defensively and his .245 BA in his first full major league season gives much to be hopeful about. While Viciedo is not in direct competition with any one person, the management has made it clear that they’re not above making mid-season moves with their farm system.
Personally, I believe more is to be expected from Viciedo offensively than defensively. Although solid defensive players like Morel, Alexei Ramirez, and Gordon Beckham are nice to have, this last season has shown that a little more contribution in the box is required (with emphasis on Beckham naturally).
If Viciedo can play a decent right field and adequately fill in for Quentin’s bat, the White Sox will be well on their way to successfully “retooling” for the 2012 season.