The 2019 MLB Draft has come and gone and some MLB franchises hope they just drafted the next cornerstones of their organization. Adley Rutschman went first overall to the Baltimore Orioles. Many believe that Rutschman was the consensus first overall pick, however, some rumors swirled headed into the evening that the Orioles weren’t sold on selecting Rutschman with the first overall pick. In the end, they did what most expected and selected one of the best position playing prospects since Bryce Harper. Bobby Witt Jr. went second overall which led to Andrew Vaughn falling into the Chicago White Sox’s lap with the third pick.
Andrew Vaughn. MERCY!
📹: @CalAthletics pic.twitter.com/qs6fudpJfS
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 4, 2019
Heading into the draft, many experts believed that Andrew Vaughn was one of the best bats on the board. Vaughn has a power stroke and what some believe to be a 60 hit tool and a 60 power tool. Vaughn has a Josh Donaldson-esque swing at the plate with solid power and solid contact on the ball. His stroke possesses excellent exit velocity with the metal bats used at Cal as well as the wood bat. Vaughn played in the wood bat-only Cape Cod summer League and had a similar approach to that at Cal. With Vaughn having experience using a wooden bat, it helps alleviate any concerns over that major adjustment in the transition professional ball.
Earlier this week, the Chicago White Sox Scouting Director Nick Hostetler had some high praise for many of the top picks in the 2019 MLB draft believing that many have superstar ability. Hostetler said, “Your top 10 picks all have the ability to be impact superstars at the major-league level, which is a little higher than normal.” The White Sox sure hope that Vaughn falls into that superstar category. It wouldn’t surprise many if Hostetler was referring to Vaughn as one of those players when discussing the draft earlier this week. After drafting Vaughn, Hostetler raved about Vaughn’s ability to hit and all the intangibles that come with playing professional ball.
“This kid rolls out of bed swinging a bat.” — Nick Hostetler on Andrew Vaughn #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/rbjrBjivXy
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) June 4, 2019
One concern that some may have about the White Sox drafting Vaughn is that he is a first basemen with a nice hit tool, yet possesses a limited defensive prowess. These types of players are a dime a dozen and the White Sox drafting him at 3rd overall in the draft must mean that he has to perform at a high level to show his worth. Like mentioned prior though, Vaughn isn’t just another power hitting first baseman. He is an absolute elite bat. Jeff Passan tweeted during the draft that Vaughn “is arguably the best college hitter since Kris Bryant.” White Sox fans probably don’t want Vaughn to be compared to a crosstown rival, however, being compared to the hitter Bryant was in college is quite the compliment. Vaughn’s plus hit tool is also met with a nice approach at the plate. His 2019 slash line at Cal was .381/.544/.716. He only struck out 33 times and drew 59 walks in 176 at-bats.
White Sox fans should expect to see Vaughn in Kannapolis at some point during the 2019 campaign with potential to even reach Winston-Salem if his bat continues on the level it was at Cal. With the White Sox drafting Vaughn, they add another piece to their rebuild and adds to their depth of high ceiling, high floor prospects. A future lineup could look something like this for the Southsiders:
1B: Andrew Vaughn
2B: Nick Madrigal
SS: Tim Anderson
3B: Yoan Moncada
LF: Eloy Jimenez
CF: Luis Robert
RF: Steele Walker
DH: Jose Abreu
P: Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, Reynaldo Lopez
The future Chicago White Sox could be very potent if most of these players pan out. Of course, that is a big if, but it’s a very exciting time for the White Sox right now. Even with the team’s failure to sign Manny Machado in the off-season, the White Sox have a good enough core set of high level prospects that that could potentially work out in their favor. Only time will tell, but for right now, White Sox fans should be very excited for the future.
William Shea is the Chicago White Sox correspondent for Prospects1500. An Illinois resident, William attends over 30 baseball games throughout the season ranging from MLB, MILB, or even Independent League games. William, a sports memorabilia and fantasy baseball fan alike, can be found on Twitter @0Runsin1st.
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