With all the attention paid to the major league White Sox this offseason, some of the further away prospects haven’t been front and center as much.
For example, Andrew Vaughn is eight months removed from being the third pick in the draft and is one of a trio of elite position player prospects the White Sox have, but hasn't been talked about much this offseason. That may not last for long.
Eric Longenhagen updated his top 100 prospects in baseball over at FanGraphs on Wednesday. Four White Sox prospects were included: Luis Robert (No. 7), Michael Kopech (No. 19), Vaughn (No. 37) and Nick Madrigal (No. 41). What was said about Vaughn is sure to catch some eyes.
“Vaughn has a very selective approach, letting strikes he can’t drive pass him by unless he has to put a ball in play, a skill I compared before the draft to Paul Konerko‘s (I mentioned this to a Special Assistant who scoffed and said he thought Vaughn was way better),” Longenhagen wrote.
Way better than Paul Konerko?! Well, that’s certainly not conservative. Konerko is obviously a legendary White Sox first baseman who helped the team win the 2005 World Series. He was also a six-time all-star who hit 439 career home runs with career averages of .279/.354/.486.
If Vaughn is even as good as Konerko, the White Sox would take that in a heartbeat. But way better?
Granted, lines like this are how prospects get overrated. Some baseball executive or scout sees someone on a good day, extrapolates and suddenly a prospect is being compared to a several-time all-star or Hall of Famer. Still, it goes to show how highly regarded Vaughn is.
“Vaughn’s post-draft TrackMan data is also supportive, and suggests he could be a .300/.400/.500 hitter,” Longenhagen added.
Yeah, that would work.
Vaughn played in 55 minor-league games after the draft last year and finished in Single-A Winston-Salem. He hit .252/.349/.411 in 29 games with the Dash. That’s not setting the world on fire, but Vaughn was still getting adjusted to pro ball.
He could start 2020 in Double-A with the expectation that his production will start to match the crazy things said about him in scouting reports. Until then, here he is taking casual swings in spring training.
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