While everyone (including the White Sox) has been clamoring over the newest Cuban defector, Yoenis Cespedes, the South Siders have had a Cuban mash artist stashed all along. Dayan Viciedo has had little exposure in the majors (104 AB in 2010, 102 AB in 2011) but performed well in the minors, hitting 20 homers both of the last two years in AAA. If you’ve seen him play (which I have both in person and on TV), you can see that he has very evident raw power. His 20 homers in AAA Charlotte in 2010? They came in 363 plate appearances. That’s a homer every 18.5 plate appearances. That’s excellent. Viciedo lacks plate discipline- he’s definitely a prototypical “free-swinger.” But he also has very solid contact rates (swinging at 35ish% pitches outside the strike zone is a large number but maintaining a 75ish% overall contact rate means he has the ability to hit the balls he swings at, regardless of the strike zone).
He ranks as the 72nd Outfielder on Mock Draft Central’s list. To be clear, that is behind Seth Smith (64th), Alejandro De Aza (69th), and Lorenzo Cain (57th). His ADP is 225.48, with a 41% draft rate (as of the date of writing). By that point in the draft, you should not be going for Seth Smith, honestly. At least the other two have sorts-of upside. My point is this- you can’t argue with his ADP, Viciedo is unproven. But at that point in the draft, upside is king, and the Cuban Tank has power upside to spare. His upside has upside. While De Aza and Cain have upside to be more effective than their positions (if you’re drafting Smith over them, you’re a lost cause or in a HUGE draft), Viciedo has POWER. Power, for the first time in a long time, is legitimately at a premium. Late in the draft, go for the Cuban. Players taken that late are likely to be dropped. Unlike the others around him and the ones I mentioned, Viciedo has not had the opportunity to prove himself. 25-30 homers that late in a draft could be the power bump that puts you into the playoffs. He’s competing against the aforementioned DeAza, the ghost of Alexis Rios, and Brent Lillibridge (in addition to anyone they pick up before spring training, like, say, Cespedes.). My bet is he starts in Right all year(Bill James has him playing 132 games. Reasonable enough). He’ll get the shot to swat some dingers.
Analysis complete. Don’t you forget about…
BONUS: How great is the old school Sox logo?