Over his last 92 at-bats, the once hot Dayan Viciedo has cooled off mightily, posting a .207 batting average and .598 OPS. And, with Robin Ventura hinting at the possibility of an Avisail Garcia return in September, Viciedo’s lack of offensive and defensive production could make him an odd man out in the Sox outfield.
Viciedo’s problem begins and ends with his plate discipline. After a hot start to the season in March/April batting .348 with 10 walks in his first 100 plate appearances, it appears as though Tank is back to his old ways. A once career-high walk rate has crept slowly back to his career average between five and six percent.
Combine his atrocious discipline with the propensity to strike out, and we arrive at the root of the problem, on-base percentage. In the words of Billy Beane, “You get on base, we win.” Here are Viciedo’s comparables after sorting by OBP at the outfield position over the years:
Tank’s Best Year
This shows that even when he’s going good, he still failed to achieve the power upside necessary to justify his awful OBP and even worse performance in the field.
The results of this data set is even more eye-opening, as Viciedo ranks 6th worst in OBP at the OF position, proving less valuable than Raul Ibanez age 40-42.
This year Dayan finds himself in the company of the season’s biggest disappointments, and it’s tough to see the struggles going away anytime soon.
And adding insult to injury, he’s been painfully bad with runners on, hitting .217 with RISP and already grounding into 17 double plays.
Viciedo undoubtedly hasn’t lived up to the hype generated after his 25-homer season in 2012, but is it too soon to pull the plug on the Cuban slugger? He is only 25 years old and is now reportedly drawing interest from teams in need of a right-handed power bat like the Giants and Mariners.
No matter how bad he’s been, you can never say for certain that a youngster is totally ‘done’ or absolutely cannot improve as he heads into his prime. However, Tank has not been anywhere near good enough in any department to justify an everyday spot in the lineup for much longer. Other than his strong arm in the outfield, he just does not bring anything positive to this ball club at this point.
With all of that being said, we all know the potential is there. And we’ve seen it shine through multiple times, even if only over short stints. Whether in September if/when Garcia returns or next year, it’ll be tough for the club to not phase Tank out unless we see drastically improved results.
Posted by contributor, Andrew Hancock
Photo Credit: Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune