Last year, the White Sox placed no small amount of hope in Cuban signing Alexei Ramirez. The "Cuban Missile" (which, we have to say, is a better-than-average baseball nickname) doesn't exactly have a commanding baseball presence -- he's wiry, he runs less like a baseball player than a track star, and, to be plain, he looks like needs to eat a cheeseburger. He also sort of looks like a young Alfonso Soriano, except even skinnier, which is not such a bad thing to look like.
Anyway, the Sox took a gamble on Ramirez, and the gamble paid off -- playing at an offensively disinclined position (second base), Ramirez hit 21 home runs and posted a .290/.317/.475 average. If he improves his on-base percentage next year, look out.
Now, the White Sox are doubling down. Yesterday, they signed 19-year-old Cuban phenom Dayan Viciedo to play third base.
Viciedo has been a top Cuban prospect for years now. He was an all-star in Cuba's top league (roughly akin to a lower-level minor league team in the U.S.) at the age of 16, and is known for his strong arm, power hitting ability, and as yet untapped potential. By giving him roughly $11 million, it's clear the White Sox have immediate plans for Viciedo's future in mind.
There are worries, though. Some have said that Viciedo's weight has ballooned in recent years, that he has been on a Miguel Cabrera-esque diet plan, and that he has lacked the motivation to really get into baseball shape. Maybe so. But he's also a 19-year-old kid, and sometimes 19-year-old kids don't watch their weight very well. The White Sox are paying for the future, not the present, and they have plenty of organizational power to help decrease Viciedo's largesse.
In any case, Dayan Viciedo is a great, great name. "The Cuban Missile," is a great nickname, but when your name is "Dayan," no other nomenclature is necessary.