Jose Abreu has been one of the best Chicago White Sox players for a long time. The pain of him leaving the team to join the Houston Astros is going to last with most of the fanbase for most of the offseason if not well into the 2023 season.
Abreu's absence is going to be felt by the White Sox in a lot of different ways. He has been their best hitter since he joined the team in 2014 and has played a very good defensive first base for most of his tenure. Now, they have to make sure that their new plan works out well for them.
Actually, their new plan isn't that new. They drafted Andrew Vaughn as the third overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft out of California. He was known as the best college power hitter out there and the White Sox were able to draft him.
His defensive position is naturally a first baseman. He was never going to play it on the White Sox while Abreu was there but his bat is where he makes his money anyway. He would have been a fine DH but now might be his time to play the position on a full-time basis with Abreu gone.
Andrew Vaughn needs to move back to first base and step up big in 2023.
Vaughn was forced to play left field for most of his Major League tenure so far because of some injuries to their real outfielders. He should be admired for playing it for all this time because he is a team-first guy but he wasn't very good at it.
He needs to step up and play first base in Abreu's place. He also needs to take another step as a hitter to make up for the offense that will be lost with Abreu's bat. These are some big shoes to fill but Vaughn can do it. He has all of the tools.
Vaughn is also not the only player that needs to step up. Abreu was amazing at playing almost every single game that he could with minimal days off so people are going to have to do what they can to stay healthy and consistent. Luckily, a lot of players including Vaughn have a high ceiling that can be reached in 2023.