Dayan Viciedo, Tread on this Tank

Jonathan Daniel

When you think of tanks, Abrams and Patton come to mind. Divert your attention away from the war references and onto the South Side developmental project of a bruiser in Dayan Viciedo. The Cuban defector will only be playing his 5th professional season stateside and his 4th in the bigs. While his development has only shown a great propensity for power and not much else, there is value to be a solid steal later on in drafts as a 3rd-4th outfielder.

Dayan had basically 2 cups of coffee in his first two seasons in the majors, both seasons being predicated by a 20 plus HR season in the minors. He finally played a full slate of games in Chicago last year and showed why he earned the nickname of "Tank". While he has a poor approach to the plate which shows in his 22% K rate and a meager 5% walk rate, I am here to tell you that there is more to expect then the numbers are telling you. He hits homers, plain and simple. He is a masher, turning 24 this season and coming a 25 HR campaign . However his value is limited to and relatively tied to his ability to change his approach at the plate and hit the big fly.

So speculation is the name of the game with Dayan. Does he improve on his bad .300 OBP? Will his plate awareness come down to a respectable number under 20%? I am going to be so bold and answer both of them with a yes, but with caveats. First off he needs to take more pitches. He averaged less then 4 pitches seen per at bat, and as we know more pitches seen equals more pitches to either hit or to draw a walk. Secondly, he will undoubtedly be more protected this year in the lineup, he batted 7th or lower in 95 games last year. Lastly he needs to improve on his base running. I am not asking him to turn into the next Omar Moreno or anything but he was on base 150 times last year and attempted 2 steals. I know he isn't the fastest guy, but I presume he has some athletic ability.

I like, not love Dayan. He can come to my family's BBQ and eat all he wants, he is a growing boy. I think his baseball maturity is going to happen it's just a matter of when and if it's now. Recent draft reports that I have seen have him going outside the top 60 in OF and in the 280-300 range overall. That to me is a little low for someone capable of sneezing and hitting 25 HR's - just for giggles only 39 players hit 25 or more homers last year. So if he puts up a line of .270/.320/.450 with 27 Hr's and 170 combined runs scored/driven in, would a 22-25th round pick be an outrageous gamble? I mean that's basically what he did last year with a 10% improvement across the board. So keep him in mind if you find yourself a little short on power later in drafts as a possible Utility fill or 3-4th OF.

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