Andrew Vaughn’s swing “is a beautiful swing,” White Sox assistant hitting coach Howie Clark says.
But it’s how Vaughn has gotten the most out of it in his rookie season, with a relatively tiny base of minor league at-bats to prepare him for the major leagues, that finds him performing among the best rookies in baseball.
“A lot of it is between the ears,” Clark said. “He’s far and away ahead of his age.”
Vaughn, who homered against left-hander Kris Bubic in the second inning in the White Sox game against the Royals Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field, entered with a .258/.321/.444 hitting line with 11 homers, 22 doubles and 32 RBI. He played only 55 games in the minor leagues.
The numbers aren’t staggering, but they are as solid as the swing and demeanor he brings to the park every day, more than serviceable for the 23-year-old first baseman who picked up playing left field like a new hobby. And the numbers are on the rise. In July, Vaughn was a candidate for AL Rookie of the Month after batting .308/.347/.516 with four homers, 12 RBI and an .853 OPS.
With no experience above High-A Winston-Salem, Vaughn was trusted to be the Sox designated hitter coming out of spring training. When Eloy Jimenez went down with a serious injury in March, he converted to left, another big ask, and took on major league pitching for the first time.