It has been a crazy ride for White Sox farmhand Dayan Viciedo. “The Tank” was a highly regarded Cuban defector who came to the United States and immediately signed a four year $10 million deal. Viciedo showed flashes of brilliance in Double-A Birmingham in 2009, hitting .280 and driving in 78 runs. Then in 2010, Viciedo showed impressive power in Triple-A Charlotte, as he hit 20 home runs in 343 at-bats before making his major league debut on June 20, 2010.
Upon entering the majors, “The Tank” appeared uninhibited by the prospect of facing major league pitchers. In 104 at-bats in the Big Leagues, Dayan earned the moniker “The Tank,” from White Sox play-by-play man Hawk Harrelson by hitting .308 and slugging an impressive .519. Unfortunately even though Viciedo’s stick was Big League caliber, his leather work was not.
So this spring in Scotsdale, Dayan Viciedo set out on a new career path; one that featured him in the outfield. When the White Sox closed up shop at Camelback Ranch, “The Tank” was bound for Charlotte again to perfect his new craft, and while his abilities as a right fielder are slowly coming along, there’s one thing Viciedo seems to know quite well. Hitting.
At times this spring the bats in Chicago have gone cold, ice cold as a matter of fact, but Viciedo has been patiently awaiting his opportunity to shine. So far in Charlotte, Dayan has hit .312 and slugged .525 while showing improved plate discipline; unfortunately the issue still lies within Viciedo’s defensive ineptitude.
Viciedo is starting to understand the nuances of being an everyday outfielder, but with Carlos Quentin putting up huge numbers there simply isn’t room for Viciedo to play right field. The only other realistic spot to play Viciedo is first base, and that’s a position that the White Sox currently have nearly $30 million wrapped up in between Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko.
For now it seems that Dayan “The Tank” Viciedo will have to continue his path of dominance in the minor leagues, and at some point he’ll have to make it impossible for the White Sox front office to keep him out of a White Sox uniform. At some point his value as a Big League hitter simply won’t be able to be overlooked, and Viciedo will get his shot, and that’s a day that all White Sox fans could look forward to because “The Tank” is certainly “on track” to become a great one.