David Vidal came into the 2012 season after a strong showing in Dayton where he solidified himself as a real prospect to keep an eye on, flashing both offensive and defensive tools at third base.
The Reds sent Vidal to Bakersfield to man the hot corner for the Blaze to start the 2012 season. He got off to a slow start, hitting .250 over the first week of the season, but he was able to heat up in the next three weeks to finish out the month with a .295/.368/.538 with 8 walks and 16 strikeouts to go along with 7 doubles and 4 home runs in 87 plate appearances.
Vidal got off to a slow start in May, hitting .256/.320/.465 through the 12th of the month with 5 walks and 10 strikeouts. At that point he was promoted to Pensacola to fill in for Henry Rodriguez. Things were rough for the next two weeks in Pensacola for the new third baseman of the Blue Wahoos as he hit just .193/.246/.281 over 57 plate appearances with 3 walks and 14 strikeouts.
June was a bit of a rebound for Vidal, though he still struggled at times. On the month he would hit .264/.317/.396 with just 6 walks and 24 strikeouts. The plate discipline hadn’t caught up yet from where it was in Bakersfield and his power was down some as well.
July was another down month for Vidal. He was never able to get things going on the month, getting 2 hits in a game just three times all month as he went on to hit just .226/.286/.429. The power was up as he had 8 doubles and 3 home runs in 92 plate appearances, but his strikeout rate was still high as he fanned 24 times during the month.
August started out well as Vidal hit .278 and slugged .557 through the 26th. However he finished out August and September by going 0-24 as he finished out the stretch with a .214/297/.427 line to go along with 12 walks and 28 strikeouts in 121 plate appearances. For the second straight month, the power was up and his plate discipline was actually pretty solid for the first time since arriving in Pensacola. For the first four weeks of the stretch he showed that he was beginning to adjust to the level before entering the slump to end the season.
The 2012 season started off well for Vidal, but he really struggled after being promoted before he was ready. He struggled mightily to adjust for about 8-10 weeks before finally starting to show that he was picking up on things and turning it around. Look for him to be back in Pensacola and manning third base to begin the year. His prospect status probably took a small step backwards during the season, but he was promoted before he was ready and likely before the Reds would have liked to have promoted him because of the injury to Rodriguez. With Travis Mattair and Seth Mejias-Brean breathing down his neck, 2013 could be a make-or-break type of season.