The White Sox are only 3 days into their spring training schedule, but their young prospects are already making noise.
Dayan Viciedo grabbed the biggest headlines on Friday by taking ex-Sox Jon Garland deep in the second inning in Tucson. We've already seen Viciedo smoking batting practice fastballs, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he was able to take the Garland deep. It's early in spring, Garland isn't exactly a fireballer -- he was probably throwing in the mid-to-high 80's Friday -- and he was supposedly working on a cutter. But Vicideo took him deep, to opposite field, no less, and he did it with style.
The 19-year-old Viciedo crushed a 2-1 cutter from Jon Garland into the right-center-field stands to lead off the second, adding a combination bat flip and hand movement made popular by Juan Uribe to signify the certainty of connection.
Ozzie Guillen and Paul Konerko were quick to praise Viciedo, but Konerko's praise contained some (perhaps) unintended levity.
"He has that same Alexei mind-set — if it's coming at me, I'm hitting," Konerko said. "But he's good and can hit everything. I'm envious of those guys. They are pretty mindless up there."
I don't know what I find funnier, the thought that Viciedo could be even more undisciplined at the plate than Ramirez or Konerko essentially calling him the the Cuban Scarecrow.
Gordon Beckham has also flaunted some flair, flipping his bat after taking a walk in Thursday's game with the Rockies, and drawn praise from veterans and coaches alike. Scott Merkin has given him the "ballplayer" tag, which usually is reserved for scrappy white guys with limited upside. Though, I suspect it must be strange for Merkin to see what an actual top prospect looks like.
If a T-Rex busted through my door right now, I'd probably be at such a loss for words, I'd describe him as "big, dinosaur" like John Candy in the The Great Outdoors.
- Aaron Poreda gave up homer and a single to the first two major leaguers he faced (Rafael Furcal and Orlando Hudson, respectively) in a "B" game back in Glendale, but regained his composure to retire the next 6 (unnamed) batters he faced.