Fri Jun 17 10:15am EDT
Just a few days ago, in an interview with MLB.com, White Sox farmhand Dayan Viciedo(notes) announced, "I'm ready." When general manager Ken Williams was asked to assess the young slugger's progress, he agreed: "He's ready."
So there aren't many questions within the organization about Viciedo's readiness. That's a good sign. The 22-year-old is hitting .325/.370/.542 this season at Triple-A Charlotte, with 11 homers, 21 doubles and 47 RBIs. Over his last 10 games, Viciedo has been a monster: 18-for-39, five doubles, one homer, six RBIs, three walks, six multi-hit games.
The numbers say he's ready, the player says he's ready, the GM says he's ready. You'll recall that Viciedo hit .308 for Chicago last season in 104 at-bats, posting an OPS of .840. He's shifted full-time to the outfield, yet still qualifies at third base in Yahoo! leagues. There's legit fantasy potential here.
Here's more hype from Williams, for those who need it:
"He is slowly acquiring a little bit more plate discipline, and the ball comes off of his bat harder than anyone we have," said Williams, who regularly sees Viciedo through minor league video feeds that he has at U.S. Cellular Field. "And the sky is the limit to where his potential can take him. Getting him off of third base and putting him in the outfield, it has really helped him start to make some progress offensively."
The GM added, "I'm not going to bring him here to sit." So when The Tank is recalled, we can expect him to have an everyday role. Viciedo's arrival would presumably mean that the dreadful Juan Pierre(notes) would cease to have an everyday role — and that would be a huge win for the Sox.
In case you haven't noticed, Pierre has been an all-phases disaster this season. He's reaching base at a lousy .319 clip, he's slugging just .299, he's been caught stealing nine times in 19 attempts, and he's committed five errors in left field, delivering a UZR of -8.0. His atrocious late-inning defense led to a pair of Matt Thornton(notes) blown saves early in the year.
It shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Pierre is dead-last in baseball in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), at -1.2. In a nutshell, WAR is a stat that measures a player's total contributions to winning, comparing his production to the performance that might be expected from, say, Florence Henderson. (At least that's how I like to think of it). And yes, sabermetrics has definitively proven that the White Sox would be a better team if Juan Pierre were replaced by Florence Henderson.
Thus, we know they would be better with Dayan Viciedo in right, Carlos Quentin(notes) in left, Pierre in exile, and Brent Lillibridge(notes) in a utility role. Let's make this thing happen, Mr. Williams. The kid is ready.
Photo via US Presswire