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10 things to know about Andrew Vaughn

Golden Spikes winner is White Sox top Draft pick
@mattkellyMLB
June 3, 2019

The White Sox selected University of California first baseman Andrew Vaughn with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's Draft. Here are some things to know about Vaughn, MLB Pipeline's third overall Draft prospect.

The White Sox selected University of California first baseman Andrew Vaughn with the No. 3 overall pick in this year's Draft. Here are some things to know about Vaughn, MLB Pipeline's third overall Draft prospect.

• Vaughn capped his stellar sophomore season (.402 average, .819 slugging percentage) by winning USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award, given to the best amateur baseball player in the country. He was the first Cal player to win the prestigious award. Vaughn’s 23 homers tied Xavier Nady for Cal’s single-season record.

• Vaughn was the first player to win the Golden Spikes in a year in which he wasn’t eligible for the MLB Draft since lefty Jim Abbott (University of Michigan) in 1987.

• Vaughn has struck out just 74 times in his college career, with 121 walks and 50 homers. As a sophomore in 2018, he hit 23 home runs and had only 18 K’s. George Brett (in 1980) and Barry Bonds (in 2004) are the only MLB players to qualify for a batting title while finishing with more homers than strikeouts in a season during the expansion era (since 1961).

• He was a standout pitcher at Maria Carrillo (Calif.) High School, going 17-6 with a 2.05 ERA and 166 strikeouts over his four years there. Vaughn pitched for Cal early in his college career, making 10 appearances in relief as a freshman, but he logged only one pitching appearance as a sophomore and none as a junior.

• As a 6-foot, 214-pound player who throws and bats right-handed, Vaughn possesses a unique frame for a big league first baseman. Since 2000, only five right-handed hitting and throwing players, standing no taller than 6 feet and weighing no more than 215 pounds, have qualified for the batting title while playing at least half their games at first base in a season: Jeff Bagwell, Yuli Gurriel, Ty Wigginton, Nomar Garciaparra and Ron Coomer.

• Vaughn was a member of the 2013 15U USA National Team that won the gold medal in the COPABE Pan Am "AA" Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia. He was named MVP of the gold-medal game after hitting a three-run homer. Teammates included 2016 No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, Royals 2017 first-round pick Nick Pratto, A's 2017 third-round pick Nick Allen and fellow 2019 Draft prospect Chase Strumpf of UCLA.

• Vaughn has a chance to be the first Maria Carrillo alum to play in the Majors. The only other Maria Carrillo player to be drafted was right-hander Richie Gardner, who pitched in the Reds’ and Brewers’ farm systems from 2004-08.

• Looking for a team player? In March, Vaughn dyed his hair pink to support a teammate whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

• In January 2018, Vaughn joined nine former Cal players and coaches to organize a baseball clinic for youth player displaced by the Tubbs wildfires in Santa Rosa, Calif. His family was among the thousands of Santa Rosa families displaced by the fires.

• Vaughn fits a recent trend for the White Sox, who have gone the collegiate route with their top pick every year since 2012, when they selected outfielder Courtney Hawkins from Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.