Cal SO IF Andrew Vaughn may be the best hitter in College Baseball right now. Do you expect him to continue his hot bat? If you have watched him play, what excites you the most about his play?
thedozen: Vaughn’s bat should send him to the big leagues when his time at Cal concludes, so he is capable of keeping up this level of play. One thing I love about Vaughn is how selective he is at the dish. Of course, light tower power like his is why many baseball fans buy tickets in the first place.
Ruey Yen: Andrew Vaughn is not a big guy (under 6 foot tall) and since the hitting requirement for a first baseman is so high, I am not sure he will be that high of a draft pick even if he keeps up this kind of production through the entirety of next year (let’s say 30 homers for both 2018 and 2019). The comparison has been made to former Cal Bear in Tony Renda (who is now in the AAA for the Arizona Diamondbacks after a brief MLB appearance with the Cincinnati Reds -- where he was one of four players acquired by the Reds from the New York Yankees for Aroldis Chapman) and another short guy with power in Boston Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia. However, both Renda and Pedroia plays a more premium defensive position of 2nd base than Vaughn as a 1st baseman. So we are probably going to see Vaughn get drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round, unless he will sign as an underslot late first rounder. Teammate Tanner Dodson will probably be a better pro (though Dodson will be drafted this summer and Vaughn is not eligible for the draft until the next summer).
Vaughn will play with the US national team again this summer. He might also go play in some wooden bat summer league (Cape Cod league if the schedule does not conflict with the US national team duty) to significantly boost his draft stock.
Nonetheless, I expect Vaughn to continue as a great college baseball player. This Cal Bear lineup has enough depth in front and behind him to give him protection. Vaughn has also shown the great ability to not press in key situations by being willing to take a walk and prolong the inning. His homerun rate has already kind of drop off in Pac-12 play for these past two weeks (the lone homer came midweek off USF), but with the Bears being a likely postseason team. I can see Andrew Vaughn having a big Regional (and hopefully Super Regional) to get to that 31 homerun threshold - a feat accomplished by merely 20 guys in the long college baseball history.
Fangraphs’ prospect ranking (made prior to this college baseball season) has Andrew Vaughn ranked behind teammate Korey Lee as potential end of the first round draft pick for the 2019 MLB draft.
Nik Jam: I am very excited to have Andrew Vaughn on our team and I hope he and the rest of the team get the chance to play in the postseason. However the team has a long way to go to be eligible due to the conference’s terrible RPI. And it is concerning that in some of the losses (like the lone losses in the WSU and Utah series) Vaughn wasn’t much of a factor at all. A huge amount of his 15 HRs have been in non-conference and we need to see more of them.
Rob Hwang: Andrew Vaughn exploded onto the scene this season and has been very fun to watch. College baseball is tough to come across stars known across the the board, but Vaughn looks to be one of those for the future. As Ruey stated above, his draft stock looks to be significantly high, they only question is will he stay and elevate this team with some big talent coming in next year.