Chicago White Sox: 5 underrated heroes of the 2021 season

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Andrew Vaughn
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Andrew Vaughn of the Chicago White Sox might be a Rookie of the Year guy.

Considering the circumstances, Andrew Vaughn does not get enough credit for what he has done for the White Sox this season. With just 55 minor league games under his belt, Vaughn was expected to step up and be the designated hitter for the Major League club entering spring training.

Adjusting to Major League hitting with such limited Minor League experience is challenging enough for a rookie. Then unforeseen circumstances made his job even tougher. When Eloy Jimenez went down with an injury, the White Sox asked Vaughn to play left field despite never playing in the outfield before.

Despite learning to play an entirely new position while simultaneously learning how to hit in the big leagues, Vaughn has thrived in left field. He has turned himself into an above-average defender with a highlight reel filled with multiple diving catches and a home run robbery. Vaughn has recorded 118 putouts in left along with two outfield assists.

Not only has Vaughn been a great left fielder but he has been a versatile defender. Tony La Russa has played him across the diamond. The 23-year old has seen nine games in right field, twelve at first base, one at second base, and one at third base.

Oh yeah, he is getting it done at the dish as well. The rookie is hitting .260 with 15 home runs and 42 RBIs to go along with a respectable .783 OPS. Vaughn hits the ball hard and has come up big in some clutch moments.

He hit a game-tying home run off Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning on May 23rd and hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals a day later. On June 8th, he hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In his next at-bat, he hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Vaughn has gone above and beyond what has been asked of him and will play a critical role for the White Sox in October.

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