Andrew Vaughn Draft Preview

Givanni Damico | May 18th, 2019

Andrew Vaughn, 1B (California Golden Bears)
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 215 LBs
Age: 21
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2018 Stats: .402/.531/.819, 23 HR, 63 RBI, 18 SO
2019 Stats (as of May 17, 2019): .373/.533/.715, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 28 SO
Hit: 60 Power: 60 Run: 30 Arm: 50 Field: 50

Andrew Vaughn is a first baseman at the University of California. He was born on April 3rd, 1998 to Diana and Toby Vaughn. Vaughn was a four-year varsity player for Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, California. He made the honor roll at Maria Carrillo all eight semesters that he attended the school. He won the North Bay League Freshman of the Year in 2013, Sophomore of the Year in 2014, Junior of the Year in 2015, and North Bay Player of the Year in 2016. He surprisingly only hit one career home run in high school, but he had an impressive career stat line hitting .380 and only striking out 15 times in four years. At Cal, Vaughn won the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award in 2017 and was a first-team freshman All-American. He spent the summer of 2017 on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and won team MVP honors after the U.S. beat Japan. As a sophomore in 2018, Vaughn won the Golden Spikes award as the best amateur baseball player in the country. He also won National Player of the Year. Vaughn tied the Cal record for home runs in a single season with 23. Clearly, he is no stranger to winning awards. Vaughn is one of the most decorated baseball players in the country with endless potential.

Strengths:
Vaughn can tear the cover off of the baseball. He has plus power, but what’s more important is that his contact grade is just as good as his power. Both are high which show that he can hit for average just as much as he can hit for power. He has a great feel for the strike zone and rarely chases the ball. He records more walks than strikeouts and gets the barrel to the ball. There isn’t much more to say without being redundant. The guy can hit in every aspect.

Weaknesses:
Depending on which site you look at, Vaughn is either 5’11” or 6’0”. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and used the California baseball website. He gets criticized for this a lot, but size shouldn’t matter if he can hit. In fact, it makes his strike zone smaller. Look at Khris Davis. The guy is small but he is the most consistent power hitter in baseball. Vaughn is very slow. That is the only thing that people worry about especially because that can affect his fielding ability. Some teams have talked about plugging him in at third base or at a corner outfield spot, but with just a grade of 30 from MLB Pipeline, he will only get slower as he ages. It’s in the best interest of whoever drafts him to leave him at first. You can’t fix his speed, making this the only major red flag.

Overview:
Andrew Vaughn is one of the best pure hitters in this draft class, if not the best. He hits for both contact and power with amazing plate vision. His speed will cause some problems on the base paths as well as in the field. Vaughn should be a first baseman at the next level. He has soft hands in the field and a decent arm. He is a bit undersized but that hasn’t proven to be a problem thus far in his amateur career. There are more first-round busts in the MLB Draft than there are in any other sport because of how long it takes some of them to get to the league and because sometimes, their talent just doesn’t translate to Major League Baseball. I don’t see this being the case for Vaughn. As long as he keeps hitting, he’ll be in the majors very soon.

Draft Prediction: Round 1, Pick 3 to the Chicago White Sox
I’d like to see Vaughn end up on the Detroit Tigers to be the heir to Miguel Cabrera, but I can’t see him making it as far as pick five. Jose Abreu is still hitting the ball, but he is 32 years old. Vaughn won’t join the White Sox right away if drafted by them, giving them time to let Jose Abreu ride it out for a year or two, but then Vaughn will be ready. Who knows? Abreu could even be used as trade bait for the young club.

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Main Image Credit:  https://calbears.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=13662