2019 Draft Preview: Andrew Vaughn

Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Andrew Vaughn 

School: California 
Position: 1B
Height/Weight: 6'0" 215 pounds
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: 4/3/1998 
Previously Drafted: Wasn't Drafted in 2016

Scouting Reports

High school:

Vaughn attended Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, California. Carrillo high is a public school located in the Rincon Valley neighborhood that was opened in 1996. It serves approximately 1600 students from Sonoma County. According to Perfect Game USA back in 2016, Andrew was ranked as the #422 player in the nation while being the 49th-best player in California and the 9th-rated first baseman in the state. He was a four-year varsity player who earned more acclaim for what he did on the mound rather than at the dish. The right-hander posted a 2.05 ERA with 166 strikeouts in his high school career. Vaughn also hit .380 with 29 doubles, 3 triples and 76 runs batted in. Andrew was a member of the 15-under USA National Team in 2013 and went on to become an All-State performer at Carrillo High School.

College:

Andrew Vaughn burst onto the national scene as a sophomore and was recognized as the best player in the country by winning the Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Bear slugger was also named as the National Player of the Year by Perfect Game and Rawlings. He was listed as an All-American by every major publication and also took home PAC-12 Player of the Year honors. In 54 games, Vaughn posted a .551 wOBA to go along with an astounding .417 ISO. In 256 plate appearances, the California star hit .402/.531/.819 with 23 homers, 14 doubles and 63 RBI. He only struck out 18 times compared to 44 walks and reached base an additional 12 times after being hit by pitches.

As a junior at California, Vaughn has stepped to the dish 200 times during the 2019 campaign. His numbers aren't as absurd as they were in 2018 but he's still one of the very best players in the country. Andrew's strikeout rate has increased to 14% this season but his walk rate has increased as well into the 22% range. The 21-year-old has hit 13 homers with 11 doubles and has driven in 43 runs on the season. Vaughn is slashing .376/.530/.711 with a .335 ISO and .511 wOBA. Andrew cracked the Bears' lineup as an 18-year-old and compiled 244 plate appearances as a freshman. He hit .349/.414/.555 with 12 homers and a .412 wOBA in his first taste of collegiate baseball. Vaughn improved his profile dramatically after graduating high school and focusing on hitting only has likely helped his cause as well. He's going to leave Berkeley with well over 50 homers on his plaque and his prodigious in game power is his carrying tool. He is also capable of hitting for average though and possesses tremendous plate discipline along with being a solid defender at first base.

In the summer of 2017, Andrew played for the Victoria Harbourcats in the West Coast League. The Harbourcats are located in Victoria, British Columbia. The West Coast League is a collegiate summer league that was founded in 2005 and is designed to develop college talent and only current college-eligible players can participate. The league has produced dozens of professional players since its consummation. Vaughn only played in six games with the Cats and posted an OPS of .703. Vaughn played for the Wareham Gatemen in the Cape Cod League last summer and had a much better showing overall. The Gatemen play in Wareham, Massachusetts. They won their eighth Cape title in 2018 after sweeping the playoffs with Vaughn as a member. Hundreds of future big-leaguers have inhabited the fields in the Cape Cod League and it's the summer home for many collegiate stars. It's a place where "The Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight". In 14 games in 2018, the California native drilled five homers and hit .308/.368/.654 overall.

Highlights from Midseason 2018

 

Batting Practice courtesy of Baseball America

 

Vaughn vs Cal-Poly from earlier this year

 

Andrew Vaughn is the #3 prospect in the 2019 draft class according to MLBPipeline.com. The publication notes that the undersized right-handed first baseman wasn't much of a prospect coming out of high school. His dominance has put him in position to become one of the first players chosen in June though. Pipeline states that he "very well could be the best all-around hitter in the entire draft class." He has a very advanced approach and has a knack for barreling up the baseball with regularity. The site wrote that he "doesn't sacrifice power as a result and shows the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark to all fields." They also state that he has decent hands and a solid arm that plays well at first base but probably limits him to that position. He has the look of a future middle-of-the-order run producer in the big leagues though. Pipeline lauds his season success but emphasizes that he had just an ordinary summer with USA Baseball. Jonathan Mayo has Vaughn to the White Sox at #3 in his latest mock draft but Jim Callis sends him to the Miami Marlins at #4 in his latest version.

The folks at Baseball America list Vaughn as the #2 overall prospect in the draft class. They also list him at 5'11" and 208 pounds which deviates a bit from others. Baseball America also mentions his "quiet summer" with the Collegiate National Team. Despite his struggles with wood, scouts and coaches still rave about his feel to hit. BA also says that the first baseman has a "preternatural feel for the strike zone and tremendous raw power". They state that he should get drafted in the top five picks of the first round and is arguably the best hitter in the 2019 class. Carlos Collazo's most recent mock draft was updated on May 3rd with Vaughn being selected by the White Sox at #3 overall. Collazo recognizes that the Cal product has "cooled off" of late but still believes that he goes in this spot. The writer calls him one of the fastest moving players in the 2019 class and he believes the slugger lines up well with the rest of Chicago's young core.

2080 Baseball lists Andrew Vaughn at 5'11" and 208 pounds as well. Like the other reports, Burke Granger noted that he was undrafted out of a California high school as well. Granger also stated that he parlayed his Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors into a spot on the U.S. National Team. His 1.350 OPS as a sophomore put him firmly in the top five mix for prognosticators however. Granger observed Vaughn's "quick hands" that allow him to barrel balls with a "compact yet powerful swing" and "tremendous feel for the strike zone". Granger also mentions the concerns but agrees with the defensive profile at first base. In their only mock draft to date, 2080 Baseball surmises that Vaughn will be capable of .300/.400/.500 slash lines at full maturity. The mock draft passage says that while some evaluators are skeptical of the summer struggles, the publication still has him headed to the White Sox with the third overall pick.

Scouting Grades:

Note: These scouting grades are from mlbpipeline.com. His grades probably fluctuate across publications.

Hit: 60

Power: 60

Run: 30

Arm: 50

Field: 50

Prospect Overview and Future Outlook:

Andrew Vaughn's draft stock has remained in neutral as the season has gone on. After his Golden Spikes Award winning campaign as a sophomore, he looked like a potential option to go with the 1-1. He hasn't been as otherworldly as a junior but should still be a lock to get selected within the first five picks in early June. College hitters usually rise to the top of draft boards to close out the scouting process due to their proximity to the majors and advanced development stage. That is no different this year in general but Vaughn remains in a separate tier. Scouts have mentioned his small stature, positional restrictiveness and underwhelming performance with wood bats as limiting concerns but his strengths outweigh his weaknesses overall. Andrew's bat is just too good for teams' to pass on.

At this point, it seems likely that this Californian masher will have a new team very early on draft night. Many draft analysts have linked Vaughn to the White Sox in the early going and everyone has him in the top five picks. Vaughn will play first base as a professional and his bat will determine how impactful he will eventually be. His swing mechanics are very reminiscent of Braves' slugger Josh Donaldson and some have compared his future potential impact to Cardinals' run producer Paul Goldschmidt if his ultimate ceiling is reached. Over the past couple of seasons, the White Sox have added players like Zack Collins, Jake Burger and Gavin Sheets in the amateur draft. First base could be the eventual settling place for any of those guys and the organization could have a decision to make on Eloy Jimenez in this regard as well. This likely won't be a considerable issue for Rick Hahn or Nick Hostetler when determining the best player available however.

The Chicago White Sox have been linked directly to Andrew Vaughn pretty universally at this juncture. The club has been tied to a number of prospects in addition to the "Wild Thing" but he's been the consensus selection to date. It's possible that this destroyer of baseballs is off the board prior to the Sox going on the clock but it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone if he ends up as the newest addition to the organization on the evening of June 4th.

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Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    ESPN's Keith Law also has Andrew Vaughn going to the White Sox at #3 in his mock draft (http://www.espn.com/insider/mlb/insider/story/_/id/26662718/keith-law-2019-mlb-mock-draft-10).

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Aaron Sapoznik:

    Btw: I noticed that Nick Madrigal replaced at 2B in 6th inning of Thursday's game for A= Winston-Salem. Was this the result of an Injury, illness or potential promotion? I haven't seen anything on twitter as of yet regarding this situation.

    Additionally AAA OF Preston Tucker will apparently be signed by KBO Tigers. Any word of who might be promoted from AA to take his roster spot? All of the organization’s OF’s at AA Birmingham have been struggling with their bats this season. CF Luis Robert might be a possibility but he was just promoted to AA in the past week or so. LF Eloy Jimenez likely won’t begin his minor league rehab assignment until some time next week. He is still working out and traveling with the White Sox as they visit Toronto this weekend.

    With Tucker’s imminent release, the Charlotte roster would be down to just 3 OF’s unless Brandon Guyer is ready to come off of the IL.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Aaron Sapoznik:

    http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=t494&player_id=449181#/career/R/hitting/2019/ALL

    May 10, 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers traded OF Paulo Orlando to Chicago White Sox.
    May 10, 2019 OF Paulo Orlando assigned to Charlotte Knights.

    Paulo Orlando will replace OF Preston Tucker on AAA Charlotte's roster.

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