Chicago White Sox outfielder Andrew Vaughn has put together a nice season for himself so far. Should he be able to keep up his fine play, he could find himself representing the Sox at the All-Star game in Los Angeles.
This is not to say Vaughn is at the level of the top outfielders in the American League just yet. He is not Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, or Yordan Alvarez. Should the White Sox only get one representative for the game, the most likely candidates to go would be Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, or Liam Hendriks.
However, Vaughn is starting to show why the White Sox took him with the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. After being thrown into the starting lineup last season following a pectoral injury to Eloy Jimenez, Vaughn has gotten comfortable with being an everyday player and is one of the top offensive threats for the White Sox.
Since overcoming a hip pointer injury in spring training and a bruised hand back in May, Vaughn has performed extremely well at the plate despite playing in less than 50 games to this point. When he has been in the lineup, Vaughn has put up a slash line of .315/.370/.485.
The Chicago White Sox should see Andrew Vaughn in the All-Star Game.
What has also been impressive is the power he has brought to the plate. While Abreu currently leads the team with nine home runs, Vaughn is only three behind in just under 70 fewer at-bats. His 29 RBI are one behind Abreu’s team-leading 30.
Over his last five games, Vaughn went 11 for 24 at the plate (.458 avg.) with six runs batted in. While the chances of staying that hot for an extended period are slim, it is a good example of what Vaughn is capable of and the potential star power he has.
A first baseman by trade, Vaughn has had to make the adjustment to playing the outfield while he has been with the team. The move was out of necessity due to Jimenez’s inability to stay healthy over the last year and the club not filling the need for a right fielder in the off-season.
Vaughn’s transition period to the outfield has proven to be adequate at best. He has made just one error between playing left and right field but ranks very low in defensive runs saved at -8.4.
Still, Vaughn is proving to be a valuable piece to the White Sox, especially when he hits in the number two spot. Vaughn is hitting .377 with three homers, 19 RBI, and a .510 slugging percentage from the two-hole.
His production from that slot helps make the top half of the White Sox order (Anderson, Vaughn, Robert, Abreu) very tough for opposing pitchers to navigate through. If the bottom half of the order can pick it up (especially Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal) it could help get the team back to where it needs to be to defend their American Central Division crown.
Vaughn’s continued progress is critical to the success of the White Sox. After a hot start to the season last year, Vaughn’s numbers began to drop as the rigors of his first season in the majors began to catch up with him.
Now that he knows what to expect from the grind of the regular season, Vaughn can make the necessary adjustments to be as close to full strength for a full year as possible. If he can do that, he could find himself moving up a tier in the conversation of top outfielders in the American League.