Andrew Vaughn was strictly a first-baseman when the Chicago White Sox drafted him 3rd overall in the 2019 MLB draft. He didn’t even play outfield until he was a member of the White Sox at the MLB level.
When Vaughn was brought up to the big league team, the White Sox already had first base occupied by reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu. This left Vaughn having to learn to play a plethora of different positions to see the field.
In his first two years with the big league team, he has played first base, second base, third base, left field, and right field. Mind you, this is the same guy who strictly played first base for his whole college and minor league career.
Although he has had some pretty good offensive seasons, Vaughn was struggling in the outfield. According to Baseball Savant, Vaughn was the worst defender at ANY position in the entire league.
The Chicago White Sox need a big jump from Andrew Vaughn in 2023.
His OAA (outs above average) was a -20 which is horrendous. Vaughn also had the worst amount of runs prevented at -17.
I don’t blame Vaughn in the slightest bit. He has probably never played outfield in his life, then playing at the most competitive level in his career, he was expected to pick it up.
There’s no way that can be easy. On the other hand, it is very hard for the White Sox because there was no way they were going to put him at first over Jose Abreu.
But this off-season, the White Sox did not re-sign Jose Abreu and he was signed by the Houston Astros. Despite leaving a gap in right field, Vaughn will get to go back to playing first base.
Because of this, I believe Vaughn is bound to put up some monster numbers and hit for a lot more power. Think about it: Vaughn was tirelessly trying to improve his poor defense which took away from his offensive focus. Despite that, he still hit for a .271 AVG.
The thing is, he only hit 17 home runs when he has a lot more power potential than that. At the University of California, Vaughn hit 23 home runs in half of the at-bats he got in the 2022 season with the White Sox.
And yes, college pitching isn’t as good and they use metal bats but still, that is a huge drop-off. All in all, with Vaughn being able to go back to his natural position, he will have some big power production for the White Sox this year; something this team desperately needs to succeed in 2023.