White Sox select Andrew Vaughn with the third overall pick

In a slight shift from recent draft strategy, the White Sox grabbed California first baseman Andrew Vaughn with the third overall pick in the 2019 draft. While staying with the recent trend of selecting college players, Vaughn represents a minor modification to the teams’ preferred method of taking players at positions in the middle of the field.

School: California 
Position: 1B
Height/Weight: 6'0" 215 pounds
B/T: R/R
D.O.B.: 4/3/1998

FutureSox Draft Profile

Scouting Grades (per MLB Pipeline):

Hit: 60

Power: 60

Run: 30

Arm: 50

Field: 50

Scouting Report

Also per MLB Pipeline:

"As an undersized right-handed first baseman, Vaughn was not much of a prospect coming out of high school, but he's swung his way to prominence at Cal. He was PAC-12 Freshman of the Year in his first season, then hit .402 with 23 homers in 2018 to win the Golden Spikes Award as an underclassman, a rare feat. He's continued to hit during his Draft season, putting him in position to be one of the first players chosen in the first round.

Vaughn could very well be the best all-around hitter in this draft class. He has a very advanced approach at the plate, one that has allowed him to walk much more than he has struck out throughout his Cal career, with a knack for barreling up the baseball. He doesn't sacrifice power as a result, showing the ability to hit the ball out to all fields, profiling as a true middle-of-the-order run producer in the future. He's a first baseman only, though he thinks he could handle third or the outfield, but should be fine at first with decent hands and a solid arm that allowed him to pitch as a freshman.

After a relatively ordinary summer with USA Baseball, Vaughn got back to mashing baseballs during his final college season. He is very much in the conversation at the very top of the Draft as a college hitter who should be able to move quickly through a system."

Videos
Batting Practice courtesy of Baseball America

 

Vaughn vs Cal-Poly from earlier this year

Highlights from midseason 2018

Outlook

According to our unscientific Twitter poll, Vaughn is the player Sox fans wanted. The motivation behind this is likely because he fills a need at a position which is currently weak in the minor league system and with filled by an aging Jose Abreu at the MLB level. While others will point to Zack Collins, Gavin Sheetsand Jake Burger as potential in house options at first base. They’re also probably tantalized by his power profile and stellar collegiate career.

In 176 at-bats this season, Vaughn slashed .381/.544/.716 with 15 home runs and only 33 strikeouts. He ranked 5th in the PAC 12 in batting average and tied for 6th in home runs. Going back to 2018, he hit 23 dingers proving he possesses premium power to go with a solid contact rate. His lack of size is underscored by his limitations defensively with first base being his only viable option on the diamond. But if his power and hit tool translate to the MLB level, no one will be concerned about where he’s playing defensively. The White Sox drafted him to set off fireworks both literally and figuratively on the Southside for the next decade or two. Vaughn has the profile to do just that.

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