White Sox first-round draft pick Andrew Vaughn: I love to hit

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • In this May 5, 2019, file photo, California first baseman Andrew Vaughn fields during an NCAA college baseball game against Utah, in Salt Lake City. Vaughn is one of possible players to have their names called early in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday, June 3, 2019.

    In this May 5, 2019, file photo, California first baseman Andrew Vaughn fields during an NCAA college baseball game against Utah, in Salt Lake City. Vaughn is one of possible players to have their names called early in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday, June 3, 2019. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/3/2019 11:00 PM

It seems to get worse every year.

There is an obsession over where position players taken in the first round of the major-league draft are ultimately going to play.

 

Remember when Tim Anderson was drafted in 2013? No way he can play shortstop.

Remember Zack Collins in 2016? No way he can catch.

Remember Jake Burger in 2017? No way he can play third base.

Remember Nick Madrigal last year? Does he play short or second?

It's been a classic case of paralysis by analysis, and it's stretching into another year for the Chicago White Sox.

With the No. 3 overall pick Monday night, the Sox drafted Cal star Andrew Vaughn.

"He's shown the ability in the past to play some third base, we've seen him take some groundballs there," said Nick Hostetler, the White Sox's amateur scouting director. "I'm not sure … really it was never discussed in our room in regards to third base. It was first base and first base only for us at this time."

Let's quickly move on from Vaughn's defensive possibilities. He was drafted for his bat.

"I love to hit," the 21-year-old Vaughn said on a conference call. "That's my thing. I love to come out to the ballyard every day and take on the best pitchers possible. I'm very excited to do that and hopefully get to the next level facing the best.

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"And I'm a baseball rat. I love to play the game. I love to go out every day. That's just who I am. It's how I've always been. I'm just very excited to get on with this journey."

While there was some heavy speculation the Sox were going to take high school shortstop C.J. Abrams in the first round of the draft, they went back to the college ranks for the seventh straight year.

"I think the bat is what obviously attracted us most to Andrew," Hostetler said. "He's the guy who, over the last three seasons at Cal, showed the ability to swing the bat, drive the baseball and also drive in runs and be a middle-of-the-order bat for us."

While he is a tad undersized at 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, Vaughn is a big-time hitter. In 52 games with the Golden Bears this season, the Santa Rosa, Calif., native batted .381/.544/.716 with 15 home runs and 50 RBI.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

As a sophomore last year, Vaughn slashed .402/.531/.819. with 23 home runs and 63 RBI while winning the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur baseball player in the country.

When it comes to his swing, the right-handed Vaughn keeps it simple.

"I'd say I'm pretty old school," he said. "I really like to go out and just see ball, hit ball and hit it as hard as I can without trying to do too much. Launch angle's there, it exists.

"You have to hit it at a certain launch angle to hit a home run, double, with this exit velo and whatnot. But I truly don't like to think about that stuff. I like to just go out and just swing it."

With their second-round draft pick (No. 45 overall) Monday night, the White Sox drafted right-handed pitcher Matthew Thompson out of Cypress Ranch High School in Texas. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is 13-0 with a 0.87 ERA this season.

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