Andrew Vaughn made a name for himself as a hitter in college. The 2018 Golden Spikes Award winner took the country by storm during his time at the University of California. In three seasons he hit .376 with 35 doubles, 50 home runs, and 163 RBIs.
Those numbers didn’t quite translate to the major leagues during Vaughn’s first season in the show. The third overall pick was thrust into action in 2021 despite just 55 games of minor league experience. If learning how to hit major league pitching isn’t hard enough already, Vaughn was also forced to learn an entirely new position once Eloy Jimenez went down with an injury. He wound up making 86 starts in left field despite never playing the position in high school or college.
Despite the added roadblocks, Vaughn showed flashes of potential as a hitter. He ranked sixth in hits, extra-base hits, total bases, and eighth in total home runs amongst all American League Rookies. He finished the season with 15 home runs and a .235 average. Nothing to write home about. He did not receive any votes for the American League Rookie of the Year.
But with an offseason to make adjustments, Vaughn is showing the league why he was drafted in the first round.
Andrew Vaughn – 07/11/2021 pic.twitter.com/mBHqR6qoXD
— Random Homers (@randomhomers) June 13, 2022
Vaughn has been tearing the cover off the ball this season. His hard-hit percentage is in the 87th percentile of all MLB hitters, while his average exit velocity ranks in the top 22 percent.
Vaughn leads the White Sox in batting average (.315), OBP (.369), slugging percentage (.472), and OPS (.841).
He is seeing the ball as well as anyone in the MLB at the moment. Entering Sunday’s game Vaughn was 11-19 in his last four games and is slashing .406/.455/.522 in his last 16.
The most impressive thing about Vaughn’s season has been his maturity at the plate. He is batting .487 this year the second time seeing a starting pitcher which is the best average in the MLB. He also owns the best batting average on the road at .408 by a healthy margin. the next closest player is Bryce Harper at .379.
On top of that, he is the only player under the age of 25 with multiple four-hit games. Vaughn is not playing like a second-year pro. He is playing like a seasoned veteran.
One of Vaughn’s biggest issues last season was his inability to hit righties. He was mainly used as a platoon player with Gavin Sheets because of it.
Turns out he is a fast learner because this year has been a different story. Vaughn raised his average against righties from .221 in 2021 to .295 in 2022. He has fit five of his six home runs against right-handers, while also posting a 152 wRC+.
Vaughn has been instrumental to the White Sox offense this season. A team that is below .500 is going to have a tough time getting multiple All-Stars. Factor in all the injuries the White Sox have suffered and their list of qualified representatives is thin.
Vaughn has been the White Sox’s most consistent hitter all season long. The scary part for the rest of the league is that he is only going to get better. He should be making his first of many trips to the All-Star game in Los Angeles this July.
Love Vaughn! Last time I checked TA was hitting around .360?