Projecting Dayan Viciedo


Projecting Dayan Viciedo

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:

.275.324.455.340 (wOBA)
2167ZiPS.274.328.431100 (OPS)
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.

White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success


White Sox Talk Podcast: How Sox fans are dealing with Cubs success

In our next installment of the White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien is joined by Chris Kamka and Slavko Bekovic to discuss how White Sox fans are dealing with success on the North Side.

Later, White Sox fan and CSN producer Ryan McGuffey talks about his experience producing Cubs content. Finally, Cubs fan Nate Poppen shares his thoughts on Frank Kaminsky wearing a Steve Bartman jersey to the United Center before a Bulls-Hornets preseason game.

Check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast here:

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

White Sox coaching staff will rely more heavily on statistics

Statistical analysis will weigh more heavily on the White Sox coaching staff’s daily decisions after Joe McEwing was elevated to Rick Renteria’s bench coach on Friday.

McEwing -- whose influence led to a 957 percent increase in defensive shifts utilized from 2013-16 -- replaces Renteria, who was named the team’s new manager on Oct. 3 after Robin Ventura announced he wouldn’t return.

Former player development director Nick Capra replaces McEwing as third-base coach while Curt Hasler was promoted from minor-league pitching coordinator to replace bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen.

McEwing’s promotion is another sign the franchise will stress the use of statistical analysis when constructing its lineup, etc., a move Ventura suggested was in progress when he said the White Sox needed a new voice. Renteria likes how he worked with McEwing last season and suggested analysis would have a big impact on their day-to-day operations.

“All the information that is provided to us plays an important part in how we move forward,” Renteria said. “We look at outcomes, which are the statistical analysis aspects. But then we are also trying to stay ahead of the curve. We do a lot of video work, trying to see if guys are changing their approaches. In terms of the shifts, we did incorporate shifts, but we also did some modifications as was to be expected when you see guys changing approaches with two strikes and things of that nature or runners in scoring position -- all those different aspects that come into play.”

Similar to many organizations, the White Sox have drastically modified how they align themselves defensively over the past four seasons under McEwing and general manager Rick Hahn. According to FanGraphs, the White Sox went from being ranked 27th in shifts implemented in 2013 to ninth by 2014 with an increase from 102 to 588. The White Sox shifted 1,079 times last season and McEwing has been instrumental in that transformation, several team sources said. It’s reasonable to expect analysis will be used more often in lineup construction and game strategy under Renteria, too. He didn’t shy away from the use of statistical analysis when he managed on the other side of town in 2014, Cubs third-base coach Gary Jones said last week.

“It’s part of our daily preparation,” Jones said. “Rick is good with it as we are right now. It was definitely a part of the equation, no doubt.”

[RELATED: White Sox announce coaching staff changes] 

Renteria cited familiarity when asked why he didn’t go outside of the organization for coaching staff hires. McEwing has long been held in high regard within the franchise and interviewed for managerial openings in Houston and Texas in 2014. Renteria suggested McEwing’s work ethic -- and how he works -- had a big impact on his promotion.

“Having sat side by side (with McEwing) going over a lot of game reviews and studying the opposition and setting up defense, I got to know him quite well,” Renteria said. “He’s a hard worker. He’s in there early looking for anything that will give us an edge. His managing experience and coaching experience also allows him an opportunity to be able to serve me well.

“It’s a good fit. We both are kind of high energy. Joey might be a little higher energy than me and I didn’t think that was possible. He brings a lot to the table.”

The White Sox announced the rest of its staff -- first-base coach Daryl Boston, pitching coach Don Cooper, hitting coach Todd Steverson, assistant hitting coach Greg Sparks and bullpen catcher Mark Salas -- would return in 2017.