You will forgive the simplistic approach to the game of baseball, particularly with all the sabermetics that can be compiled these days. It just seems like teams do better when players get on base more consistently.
The best part of Viciedo seems to be his power and the ever-vague “upside.” Why is it that teams get so enamored with home runs? I thought the old phrase suggested that chicks dig the long ball. Apparently some GMs do too.
The 2012 numbers are good, as Viciedo hit 25 home runs and knocked in 78. However, he hit .255 and had a less than impressive .300 on-base percentage. Viciedo does not walk much and he strikes out often (120 times in 2012).
In 2013, his power numbers dropped (14 home runs) and in general he is not regarded as a good defensive outfielder. This makes him appealing, why?
Lest we forget, the Mariners did not lack in home runs last season. In fact, Seattle was second in the league in team home runs. Second.
Did all of the dingers lead to wins? Not exactly. The Mariners won 71 games, were 22nd in runs and 26th in hits. What does this all mean? It means that the Mariners struggled to get on base consistently.
Seattle was tied for 28th in team batting average.
Now, would Viciedo be an upgrade over Michael Saunders and his .224 career average? That is certainly a possibility, but it seems reasonable that the White Sox might want some prospects if they are going to give up Viciedo. In addition, the Mariners need someone in the outfield that can play defense.
Players that hit singles and draw walks aren’t as exciting as powerful sluggers that can hit the ball a country mile. However, teams that win have offenses that can consistently put ducks on the pond.
Viciedo is not going to provide protection for Robinson Cano if he is swinging from his shoelaces and then walking slowly back to the dugout after whiffing again. If the Mariners want this guy, they had better not give up a lot to get him.
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