Dayan Viciedo will take over right field with a ton of hype -- hype that he's earned with back-to-back solid seasons between Triple-A and the majors. But the 23-year-old probably won't be a savior of the White Sox offense. Or, at least, he shouldn't be expected to be that savior.
Viciedo showed improved plate discipline last season in Charlotte, raising his walk rate from 3 percent to nearly 9 percent while lowing his strikeout rate by 5 percent. In 113 MLB plate appearances, his walk rate fell a bit while his strikeout rate jumped back into the 20 percent range -- which is pretty normal. That his walk rate remained fairly steady (right around the MLB average of 8.1 percent), though, is an encouraging sign, even in a small sample size.
There are two projections out there for Viciedo right now, with those being from Bill James and Dan Szymborski (ZiPS). Here's how they project Viciedo:
A few things of note:
ZiPS projects Viciedo's offense to be wholly average (a 100 OPS is average).
James is a little more optimistic, as Viciedo's .340 wOBA would sit above 2011's average of .316.
The plate discipline projections -- James has Viciedo with a 9634 KBB, while ZiPS sees Viciedo with a 11440 KBB.
21 home runs is a fair baseline. That was the exact number Viciedo hit between Charlotte (20) and the majors (1) last season, so even with some improvement, that he'll be facing major league pitching every day means he probably shouldn't be expected to hit more than that.
These projections should be viewed as baselines, not "this will definitely happen next season." Players deviate from these projections all the time, but they're useful for determining a rough idea at what level a player should be expected to perform.
Defense. Neither James nor ZiPS takes into account defense -- but that's worth its own separate post regarding Viciedo, because his defense will make or break his value in 2012.