Viciedo's power, talent not going unnoticed
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There are rarely, if ever, any official distances given on home runs during Cactus League competition. So, going the unofficial route, Dayan Viciedo's leadoff blast in the second off Cleveland ace Justin Masterson likely traveled somewhere between 460 and 500 feet.
Viciedo's clout cleared the entire left-field lawn seats and the back fence behind the grass, with the distance being 345 feet to the left field wall alone. It's another example of the unlimited potential possessed by the 23-year-old, which has not gone unnoticed by one veteran teammate.
"People don't really realize how good he is," said White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn, who played first in Friday's contest. "He's going to be really, really good for a long time.
"He's just kind of figuring out how to hit. I don't think he really realizes how good he is. I can't wait to watch him. He's going to be phenomenal."
Offseason clamor for general manager Rick Hahn to add another left-handed bat focused in part on Viciedo's .225 average against right-handed pitchers. But Hahn and the White Sox were not ready to turn Viciedo into a platoon player after just one full big league season, during which he hit 25 homers and drove in 78.
"That's probably one of the smarter things I've heard in a long time," said Dunn of the White Sox avoiding a platoon with Viciedo. "Again, I hate to sit here and build him up. You don't see a lot of guys like him come through all the time. He's just -- I'm a huge fan of him. He's going to be really, really good."
As for Viciedo's prodigious blast, Dunn said that sort of no-doubter is a little more enjoyable, "because you don't have to run out of the box as hard."
After a 28-pitch scoreless first, homers from Viciedo and Brent Morel helped Chris Sale settle down.
"It still does ease the tension, no matter where you are and what game you're pitching in, when you put runs on the board," Sale said.
"There's more there than just being a power hitter," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Viciedo. "He's got good hands, and he has a good idea at the plate. It's just being able to lay off when somebody is not going to give him something to hit."