Dayan Viciedo is trying. He really is.
When he’s on, the 24-year-old looks like he could be a world-beater: as evidenced by his .303/.364/.517 slash line over 89 at-bats in July, the young slugger has the skills at the plate to be a difference-maker there, even though that may be the only area where he really can.
The problem? Well, as the Chicago White Sox are finding out, the ‘off’ switch is the standard position when it comes to their outfielder.
His disappointing .254/.295/.412 line overall should tell you that, and after what you could at least call a power breakout in 2012 with 25 home runs over 543 PA, it’s been one step forward, two steps back for the Cuban import, as he’s seen himself mired in a -0.5 fWAR season despite flashes of greatness.
Take his last seven days of work, for example. Over those 28 PA in seven games, Viciedo has turned on the jets, leading the Pale Hose with 10 runs, five runs and seven RBIs with a .370/.393/.519 line thanks in large part to a six-game hitting streak.
Even that, however, comes with its downside, as the left fielder has been swinging away at an alarmingly high 59.1 percent of pitches over the same span, leading to a 25 percent strikeout rate to push his 20.8 on the season. To make matters worse, he is walking at a rate of 3.6 percent (5.0 on the season) with just one free pass over the last week.
No wonder why he has a problem finding sustained success.
There is, after all, a reason why his latest hot streak has only helped pull his August numbers to a still-disappointing .241/.267/.379. While there’s plenty of upside in Viciedo’s bat, and he’s by no means “done” or even what you’d call a bust, the fact of the matter is that for every time he’s shown what he’s capable of, there are more moments that tell the White Sox what he’s unable to do.
With a diminishing power tool (just 11 home runs thus far this season), he’ll have to hope that his recent hot streak can carry through to the rest of the year without it being yet another flash in the pan.
Upside is one thing, but when that turns into a below-replacement level second-year player, you’d have to think that the White Sox would be more than concerned about continuing to carry that kind of trend on the team.