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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 1: Andrew Vaughn

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Our top prospect breaks camp with the White Sox, playing ... designated hitter? First base? LEFT FIELD?

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers Ron Vesely/Getty Images

Andrew Vaughn

First Baseman
6´0´´
215 pounds
Age: 23
SSS rank among all first basemen in the system: 1
2021 SSS Top Prospect Vote: 1
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 3

Andrew Vaughn enjoyed a spectacular three-year run with the University of California. As a freshman, all he did was slash .349/.414/.555 with 12 homers, 50 RBIs, 19 walks and 24 strikeouts. The next year saw him have arguably his best production (and a Golden Spikes Award as the NCAA’s best player), as he slashed .402/.531/.819 with 14 doubles, 23 homers, 63 RBIs, 44 walks and just 18 strikeouts in 54 games. While his junior season wasn’t quite up to his sophomore standards, it was still sensational as he slashed .374/.539/.704 in 52 games with 14 doubles, 15 homers, 50 RBIs, 60 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Thus, in a total of 160 college games — equating to a full major league season, Vaughn slashed .374/.495/.688 with 35 doubles, one triple, 50 homers, 163 RBIs, 123 walks (16.5%) and 75 strikeouts (10.1%). Amazing stuff! As a result of his hitting prowess, Vaughn was selected with the third overall pick by the White Sox in the 2019 MLB draft.

After obliterating the AZL in a three-game stretch to start his pro career, Vaughn finished the season with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. His numbers weren’t overly impressive for the year, but it was by far the longest season of his life and likely suffered through a bit of fatigue. In 205 at-bats with three teams, he combined to slash .278/.384/.449 with 17 doubles, six homers, 36 RBIs, 30 walks (12.2%) and 38 strikeouts (15.5%).

MLB Pipeline ranks Vaughn’s hitting and power as 60, arm and field 50, and running at 40. According to Baseball America, “Vaughn’s advanced feel to hit, power and plate discipline should allow him to become an impact hitter in the middle of a major league lineup, while also allowing him to rise through the minors quickly.”

Vaughn advanced quickly through the system’s lower levels in 2019, but has never played above High-A. That is, until this year. After impressing at 2020 spring training and Summer Camp, the youngster was thisclose to being called up for the stretch run last season.

This year, Vaughn went into camp as the presumed DH to start the year and did nothing but cement that spot. In fact, after Eloy Jiménez’s injury, Vaughn was willing to go out and play left field — a position he’d never played in college, or professionally. He logged two games in Arizona without incident, and will make his major league debut on Friday (at either DH or in left field).