The Chicago White Sox didn't have a lot of players take a big step in their development in 2022 but there were a few exceptions. One of those is Andrew Vaughn who had a really nice season. The White Sox weren't able to take advantage of his good sophomore season but it was good nonetheless.
Vaughn came in hoping to build on his solid 2021 season where he was one of the better offensive rookies in the American League. In that rookie season of his, he played outfield out of necessity which was way out of position for him.
In 2022, the hope was that he wouldn't need to play the outfield all that much but injuries and a flawed roster forced him to do so again. He took praise for being so willing to do anything for his team in 2021 but in 2022 nobody was scared to admit that he wasn't very good at it.
His natural position is first base which is something that still might be in the cards for him going forward but we all know he plays baseball because of his ability to hit.
In 2022, he slashed .271/.321/.429 for an OPS of .750. He also led the White Sox with 17 home runs which is kind of sad but that isn't Vaughn's fault. A second-year power hitter having 17 isn't bad at all. It is more of a shame that nobody else hit more than that.
In addition to those 17 home runs, he had 76 RBIs and 60 runs scored. There is no doubt that those are some really solid numbers for a young kid like this. His 2022 WAR, however, sits at -0.2 because of his inability to play the outfield effectively.
Final Grade: B
Andrew Vaughn might be the only player with a negative WAR to get a high grade but expectations and context are key. A rookie or second-year player that is playing out of his natural position should not be expected to be an average Major League defender.
Vaughn's numbers with his bat were good enough for his second year to warrant a high grade. It is also clear that there are tools there that will allow him to improve on these numbers as the years go on. He could end up being an elite hitter one day.
If that happens and he starts playing first base or designated hitter more, the WAR will come up. If he isn't traded during the offseason, you can expect him to have a huge year with the White Sox in 2023.