5 designated hitter possibilities for Chicago White Sox
Andrew Vaughn has been a great hitter for the Chicago White Sox since his arrival.
If Rick Hahn turns to an internal solution then Andrew Vaughn would be the leading candidate. He was selected third overall in the 2019 MLB draft. He was touted as the best hitter coming out of college baseball and Baseball America quickly named him the Best Power Hitter in the White Sox system.
When the 2021 season rolled around, Vaughn seemed like the perfect candidate to be the new designated hitter. He showed a mature approach at the plate and impressed his coaches and teammates during Spring Training.
However, there were a couple of things working against Vaughn. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he spent the entire 2020 season at the Schaumburg training facility. Before that, he played only 55 minor league games.
Hitting in the Major Leagues is hard, even when you have Minor League seasoning. However, coming in with limited professional experience made his job hard.
His challenges as a hitter increased exponentially when injuries forced him to learn an entirely new position in left field on top of how to adjust to major league pitching. So while his .235/.309/.309 slash line and 15 home runs seem, pedestrian, they are quite impressive considering the circumstances.
With more stability on the depth chart and a year of experience under his belt, Vaughn should only improve. One cause for concern was his splits against right-handed pitching. He hit just .221 against righties with 69 strikeouts.
Against lefties, those numbers improved to .269 and his strikeouts dropped to 32. If Vaughn is the designated hitter he needs to figure out how to hit righties or a platoon system may need to be in order.