The Chicago White Sox are going to have to wait to see some of their top prospects make their MLB debuts, but how much longer will that be for one slugging first baseman?
The Chicago White Sox will sadly have to wait to see all of their young talent take the field this season, including Luis Robert who is going to be the team’s Opening Day centerfielder.
While waiting to see him take the field is painful enough, one player that it will take even longer to see take the field is Andrew Vaughn, who is currently the South Side’s second-best prospect (16th in all of baseball) according to MLB Pipeline.
Vaughn, 22, was expected to have a shot to reach the majors this season, believe it or not, after playing at three levels of the minor leagues in 2019, topping out at Single-A Winston-Salem.
On top of it, the first baseman had an absolutely phenomenal showing in spring training this year, hitting .304/.448/.522 with one homer, five RBI, and two doubles. He also had more walks (five) than strikeouts (four) over 13 games.
Amidst the uncertainty of the 2020 season, though, his ability to play for the Chicago White Sox anytime soon is in serious doubt.
Personally, I always felt the chances of Vaughn making his MLB debut in 2020 were slim to none, with that possibility only arising if Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion both struggled mightily or were hurt and Vaughn was having an outstanding season in the minors.
Now, though, it is very clear that the 2021 season is the earliest we could see Vaughn. There’s even a legitimate possibility his MLB debut won’t come until 2022 now.
If I had to take a bet on when Vaughn will make his debut, though, I’d surmise that it will come sometime after the All-Star break next season.
With the league discussing various scenarios to bring baseball back this summer, it appears likely that there will at least be some games played in 2020.
How many games they will end up playing remains to be seen and how that impacts the minor leagues is also a predicament that the league will need to address.
If the minor league season gets played, at least in part, there’s no reason to think Vaughn can’t quickly ascend to Double-A Birmingham before the end of the year, if not start there.
Assuming he can do that and perform, that would allow Vaughn to start the 2021 season at Triple-A Charlotte, knocking on the doorstep of the major leagues every day from there.
The predicament created by Abreu’s contract situation with the Chicago White Sox could delay Vaughn’s MLB debut.
However, there’s no reason that they can’t co-exist if the first base and DH spots are available next season, which would be dependent on the team not retaining Encarnacion.
Also, injuries always arise throughout the season and the need for a big bat like Vaughn’s could certainly arise at any point.
While the delay for Andrew Vaughn’s MLB debut is disappointing, there’s no reason he can’t be playing regularly for the Chicago White Sox at some point next year.