Today, the Chicago White Sox announced the signing of 19 year old Cuban Dayan Viciedo. Viciedo, a third basemen, signed a Major League deal worth $11M. Obviously having Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras, not to mention a Latin American manager, helped in the signing of this promising young player.
According to Baseball America (free content), "Viciedo has excellent power and hitting ability..." There was concern, according to the article, that Viciedo does not have much athleticism and his body could quickly begin to detriorate-meaning, he would get fat.
Viciedo has been compared by a power hitting corner infield prospect Angel Villalona, of the San Francisco Giants. Villalona, for those of you who don't know, is one of the best prospects in all of baseball. Playing the in the 2008 season predominantly as a 17 year old (ie. as a high school senior), Villalona slugged 17 home runs, en route to a .726 OPS against A ball players (predominantly 20 and 21 year olds). In other words, some outstanding praise.
Another report suggested that had Viciedo been eligible for the 2008 Rule IV Draft, he would have almost certainly been a first round selection, despite the concern that he becomes the next Kendry Morales, lacking the upside of Villalona. To be fair, that shouldn't deminish the praise one provides for Viciedo as Morales still has a great deal of potential.
In all, this is an outstanding move by the White Sox. They utilized the players on their roster in ways not commonly seen among Major League Baseball. Viciedo will easily be one of the White Sox top 3 or 4 prospects, and if there is no worry about adjusting to life in North America, Viciedo could start the season at Chicago's Double A affiliate in Birmingham. It is more likely that the Sox start him with a lesser assignment in the South Atlantic League (Single A ball).