2021 Player Review: Andrew Vaughn

The Chicago White Sox had plans to challenge Andrew Vaughn with an aggressive assignment in 2021. They just didn’t know it would be out of position for Vaughn and playing primarily in left field. While Vaughn did admirably defensively, the bat-first prospect had his share of struggles at the plate, especially against right-handed pitching. 

Entering 2022, what is Andrew Vaughn’s role with the White Sox? Will he start every day again in a corner outfield position? Or will he be platooning at DH with Gavin Sheets? 

Or is Andrew Vaughn even on the White Sox post-lockout? 

Josh and Jim recap Andrew Vaughn’s rookie season while answering the critical questions.

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Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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knoxfire30

I will continue to beat the drum that Vaughn is gonna be a star. I really can’t recall a worse situation a young player has been put into directly because of a teams cheapness. The sox easily could of signed a veteran DH instead they thought it wise to let a kid who hadn’t been above A ball get exposed at the MLB level for a team trying to contend, while playing a totally new position, while being in and out of the lineup and not always getting consistent at bats…. what could go wrong?!?!?!

I am not saying I wouldn’t trade Vaughn in the right deal because RH hitting corner/dh types the sox have an abundance of but its probably the worst time to do so. If a team wants to value Vaughn as a top 20ish overall prospect in baseball and they want to part with a near mlb ready or controllable starting pitcher, C, 2nd, RF type of equal skill/potential lets talk, but otherwise I fully expect Vaughn to have a big year and rebuild his value completely.

Jim Margalus

What’s bad for Vaughn is also bad for La Russa, in the sense that rotating him in and out of the lineup was probably the best way to balance team needs and player development.

HallofFrank

Agreed. I really like Vaughn and I’d love to see him in the lineup every day somehow. I also want to see him in the OF more: Paul Konerko’s bat is a lot more compelling outcome as a LF/RF than 1B/DH. However, I would say I’m very against Plan A being a Vaughn/Sheets platoon. I’d rather see, like Josh suggested, Vaughn in AAA getting regular ABs and Burger being the RH side of that platoon. Not because Burger is better, but because Vaughn needs PAs.

On trade value as compared to Eloy, I think Josh and Jim are both right, in a sense. If it’s a straightforward choice between Vaughn and Eloy, I’d rather trade Vaughn because of Eloy’s upside. But I think Jim is right that Eloy is the more interesting trade candidate because I suspect his value is much higher than Vaughn’s and the floor is lower.

knoxfire30

Im kind of with the thinking that if a DH platoon occurs it should be Sheets/Burger. Vaughn needs 600 at bats even if that happens at both the AAA and mlb levels. Im still super skeptical about Sheets but the heavy half of the dh platoon he will get a chance to prove me wrong, and burger on the short side of dh could still spell moncada and abreu once in a while to get more at bats.

It again comes down to budget, a real contender shouldnt have a void in RF, 2nd, DH only to be filled in by some combination of young players and a utility guy like Leury.

I dont think the sox want any part of trading Eloy. His potential is too high and they have him on a pretty good contract. If they want to shake up the corner power on the 40 man then it should be sheets, burger, vaughn types in trade discussions.

HallofFrank

If the Sox had super-solved 2B somehow (for example, signing Semien) and added a DH, I’d feel good about giving Vaughn RF duties. But with question marks surrounding 2B and DH, I don’t think they can put all their RF eggs in the Vaughn basket.

HallofFrank

Yes, and they could sprinkle in Burger at 3B occasionally to give Moncada a rest. I’d like to see Burger get some looks at RHP, because I still think there’s a chance he’s an above-average major league regular. But I’m not as concerned about his (or Sheets’) development like I am Vaughn’s.

knoxfire30

Hard to believe the MLB network is firing Rosenthal cause of his critique of Manfred…. what a mess. Horrible look for them.

Augusto Barojas

Vaughn was exceptional in college. Does not guarantee stardom at the big league level, but he was adequate for someone with no experience above A ball. I mean, if they trade their only prospects with potential because they are too lazy and cheap to sign a 2b, what’s the point? Gotta keep Vaughn, only possible exception would be someone like Ketel Marte who would be a star at 2b. Even still, they could have signed a damn good 2b without trading Vaughn, if they were really serious about winning instead of running the team like they played in an Iowa market.