White Sox

Could Viciedo wind up in left field?

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Could Viciedo wind up in left field?

Here's perhaps the first real bit of news to come out of spring training, courtesy of our own Chuck Garfien:

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Chuck GarfienWhen all is said and done, don't be surprised if Alex Rios starts in RF and Dayan Viciedo moves to LF.
Feb 27 via UberSocial for BlackBerry Favorite Retweet Reply
There are a few implications if this indeed does happen. The first would be that the Sox appear committed to playing Alejandro De Aza in center field, which makes sense because he's the team's best defensive center fielder. But Rios needs to play somewhere, and he previously stated he wouldn't be comfortable in left field -- which is fair, given he's only played one game there in his entire career.

Playing Rios in an unfamiliar position could be counter-productive to getting his offensive production back to some level of respectability. If he's taking any defensive issues with him to the plate, that probably won't end well for his overall production.

Although being comfortable hasn't always worked for getting players to rebound -- look no further than Mark Teahen, who struggled through 2010 despite having the comfort of a three-year contract given to him after the Sox acquired him in 2009.

Viciedo would, in theory, be less prone to seeing his offensive numbers dip due to a position switch. He moved from third base to right field and continued to improve at the plate, and while right to left field is a significant change, it's not as earth-shattering as moving from the infield to outfield.

So here we have a storyline to follow this spring with potentially long-lasting implications. Viciedo has been penciled in as the right fielder of the future, but maybe we'll have to change that to left.

Meet the Prospects: A.J. Puckett

Meet the Prospects: A.J. Puckett

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

A.J. Puckett

Puckett, the 22-year-old right-handed hurler, came over in one of Rick Hahn's lower-profile moves last summer. While trades with the Cubs and New York Yankees brought back high-profile prospects like Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease and Blake Rutherford, an under-the-radar July move that sent Melky Cabrera to the Kansas City Royals fetched Puckett and left-handed pitcher Andre Davis to bolster the rebuilding effort.

A California native, Puckett was a second-round pick of the Royals in the 2016 draft. He made 11 starts at Class A Lexington in 2016, posting a 3.66 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 51.2 innings of work. Prior to last summer's trade, Puckett made 20 starts for Class A Wilmington, turning in a 3.90 ERA to go with 98 strikeouts in 108.1 innings. After joining the White Sox organization, he made five starts at Class A Winston-Salem, where he had a 4.28 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Puckett rated as the No. 23 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Puckett in the video above.

Meet the Prospects: Blake Rutherford

Meet the Prospects: Blake Rutherford

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Blake Rutherford

Rutherford, the 20-year-old outfielder, was the highest-rated piece of the return package that came back to the White Sox in the seven-player deal that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees last summer.

A California native, Rutherford was the 18th overall pick in the 2016 draft. After only playing rookie ball post-draft in 2016, he played 71 games with Class A Charleston last year before the trade, slashing .281/.342/.391 with 20 doubles and 30 RBIs to go along with a pair of home runs. After the trade, Rutherford played in 30 games with Class A Kannapolis, slashing .213/.289/.254 with 26 hits and 13 walks.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Rutherford rated as the No. 4 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Rutherford in the video above.