3. Andrew Vaughn
Andrew Vaughn could take a huge step defensively at first base in 2023.
Andrew Vaughn’s career has been crazy. He was the third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Since then, he had a very unusual path to the big leagues for a variety of reasons. Although it couldn’t have been easy, he made it work without ever complaining.
It wasn’t a lock that he made the roster going into the 2021 season. Eloy Jimenez got hurt and they forced him to play left field. He wasn’t very good at it but he made it work in order to get them through this injury to Jimenez. With his bat, he has been growing each year.
his defensive numbers in the outfield haven’t been good at all but he has been working on that craft as he is a team-first guy. Now, he might be able to play his natural position of first base going forward. With Jose Abreu potentially walking, this could be his opportunity to shine.
The fact that he was so committed to playing out of position, imagine his commitment to defense at a position that he always played before reaching the big leagues. This could be a huge improvement over his play in the outfield.
Of everyone on this list, Vaughn is the biggest longshot but there aren’t many better options. He has played first in the past and his ability to adapt to other positions (even though it wasn’t always great) speaks volumes about his work ethic.
That may help him transition back to his natural position. We can only hope that with Gold Glove nominations or not, this team improves on defense.