Consisting of professional players not on their organization’s 40 men roster, Team USA has announced the 28 men roster for the upcoming WBSC Premier 12 tournament that is one of the qualifier for countries to make the small 6-nation tournament in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, when baseball (along with softball) will make a return for the first time since 2008. For Cal fans, there is a very familiar name in that roster (who is also used in the cover photo of the tweet).
Former Cal Baseball 1st baseman Andrew Vaughn will once again represent the USA in International competition. Vaughn has spent his previous summers playing both in the fame Cape Cod League but also in the National Team development Program. After three unbelievable years as a Golden Bear, Andrew Vaughn was the 3rd overall pick by the Chicago White Sox in this summer’s 2019 MLB Draft.
The Cal slugger was the best collegiate player (Golden Spikes winner) for the 2018 season as well as finishing again in the top 3 for the Golden Spikes in his 2019 season. Widely considered the best hitting prospect in all of college, Vaughn was a high draft pick despite defying what a top baseball prospect should be like (baseball scouts love their first baseman to be lefty and Vaughn is a righty).
Since becoming a pro, Vaughn’s advanced hitting tools has already been on display across 3 different levels this summer, finishing at Advanced A with the Winston-Salem Dash. MLB Pipeline already has Vaughn as the 21st best prospect in all of baseball right now.
In addition to his exploits on the field, the Santa Rosa native is also a great role model off the field. While at Cal, Andrew Vaughn has helped his home town in its recovery from the wildfire two years ago.
In addition to Vaughn, another Cal Baseball Bear is in the coaching staff. Former Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price will be the pitching coach for this elite team. With 8 and counting managerial jobs available this offseason, it would be interesting if any team gives Price another shot at being the manager.
For Team USA to make the Olympics, they will first have to be the top 2 team in Group A alongside the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. These games will be played in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4. The top 2 teams will advance to Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.
The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory will earn a spot. Host Japan and Israel has already qualified. There will be two more spots up for grab in March 2020.
Best of luck to Andrew Vaughn and Bryan Price on representing USA in November!