The Chicago White Sox are in good shape with organizational depth. They should be considered favorites to win the American League Central for a long time coming up. They have a lot of great young talent that will help them win for a long time. One of those players is Andrew Vaughn.
Vaughn has had an interesting path to Major League Baseball. He was the third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, so he was a highly regarded prospect. However, COVID-19 made it where he didn’t have a traditional path through the Minor Leagues.
He made his MLB debut in 2021 and was very good for most of the season. It wasn’t without his ups and downs but he was mostly a reliable player whenever the White Sox needed him in the lineup.
For one, he made a defensive positional change. He moved from his natural position at first base to play left field when Eloy Jimenez went down. Not only was he a replacement-level player out there, but he was also above average once he became used to it.
Before the Jimenez injury, Vaughn was slated to be a potential designated hitter. Coming out of college, he was known as the best power hitter in his draft. So far, he has lived up to that.
In 2021, he slashed .235/.309/.396 for an OPS of .705. Those numbers are good but they were much better before he started to slow down at the end of the year. As he matures as a hitter, he should be able to get them up again. He also added in 15 home runs, 48 RBIs, and 56 runs scored. This is a great starting point to build on.
2021 Final Grade: B
Andrew Vaughn was on track to be an A player but he fell off just a bit towards the end. When the team got healthier, that forced him out of the lineup a little bit too. For a rookie that had very little MiLB experience, however, he was outstanding. He proved that he was worthy of that 3rd overall pick and should be a very good hitter for a very long time.
The Chicago White Sox are going to use Andrew Vaughn for a long time. Unless he is a part of a massive trade, you can bank on seeing him a lot in 2022. He should be used in a platoon role as the designated hitter but now he has shown that he can play both corner outfield and first base as well. His defensive versatility and power will be an asset for the Sox going forward.