by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Via Twitter today the White Sox announced that Avisail Garcia had suffered a torn labrum and would need season ending surgery. The news will likely send fantasy owners scurrying to their waiver wires, as Dayan Viciedo suddenly becomes an option worth adding. But should it?
He opened the season riding the pine, with Garcia, Adam Eaton and Alejandro De Aza taking the three spots in the outfield and Adam Dunn entrenched as the DH. With the three starting outfielders struggling early on, though, not only was Viciedo thrust into the lineup but he was inserted as the cleanup hitter.
That’s obviously an ideal spot to produce, especially with Jose Abreu causing pitchers fits ahead of him. Teams may not want to see Abreu beat them, giving Viciedo a chance to drive in runs. At the same time, we have to remember that Dunn has been out of the lineup due to there not being a DH. That said, even if Viciedo hits 5th he will be in a position to produce.
In his first 23 AB this season Viciedo has hit .316 with 0 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. It’s a small sample size, so we don’t want to point to his 28.6% line drive rate or his 26.1% strikeout rate or his 13.0% walk rate. Instead, look at the player that he’s capable of being.
In 2012 Viciedo hit 25 HR courtesy of a 20.5% HR/FB rate. Last season the power regressed overall, with just 14 HR courtesy of an 11.9% HR/FB rate. Interestingly he hit just 3 HR in 109 AB against LHP, where he had 9 HR in 123 AB against them in ’12. A right-handed hitter, you would think last season would be more of the aberration.
Is he the source of power he was in ’12 or is ’13 closer to the truth? Chances are he’s somewhere in the middle, so expecting 20 HR would be a good outlook.
How about his average, which has always been mediocre (.265 for his career)? Just look at his line drive splits over the past two seasons:
- First Half 2012 – 21.0%
- Second Half 2012 – 23.3%
- First Half 2013 – 20.3%
- Second Half 2013 – 16.6%
In other words we’d expect a number in the 20-22% range, which easily could yield an average around .270 or better (given his 20ish percent strikeout rate). So, we have a usable average with power potential? What’s not to like, especially when you throw in RBI opportunities.
In five-outfielder formats, he’s clearly a must add player.
Source – Fangraphs