Originally Posted by doublem23
OK, I understand your point. I'm not sure I agree with how much unrealized potential affects the arbitration process since arb year contracts are doled out 1-year at a time, but I would agree that if the Sox were looking to extend any of their young players past their arb years, Viciedo probably would have more leverage than any of the other young players with the exception of Chris Sale. I know he's frustraing, but the number of 23-year-olds who will hit 25 HR in their first full season in the Majors is pretty limited.
Which is why IMO Rick Hahn should at least look into trading him now for a spectacular return and financial flexibility while he still has that potential.
I know no player is alike, even Cuban players, but look at Alexei. He's been here 5 full seasons, and while he has a bit more patience and gets into slightly better counts now than earlier, he's still the same free swinger and hacker at pitches outside the zone as he was as a rookie.
Also, Alexei's power numbers looked really good to us the first few years too, and have since declined since then due to pitchers knowing how to get him out.
Bottom line, IMO, we really can't expect massive improvement from Viciedo. Could he be a .240-270 hitter with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs in a few years, yes. But with the poor approach, given away at-bats and borderline awful situational hitting that that comes with it, can we really rely on him to hold down cleanup or 5th once Paul and Rios are gone, unless we expect less from those spots than we do now?
Someone had a famous saying that you know all about a hitter after 1000 at-bats. Well Viciedo has 711 at the end of this season.