Vaughn went 1-for-2 with a walk, a three-run home run and an additional run in Tuesday's spring game against Texas. Vaughn lifted a first-inning, three-run homer off Kohei Arihara, his first long ball of Cactus League play. The 2019 third-overall draft pick also has three walks through his first two spring training games. Vaughn is projected as the team's starting designated hitter, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com, and the rookie's plate approach and power potential appears ready for MLB.
Vaughn took his first batting practice of training camp Monday, Lamond Pope of the Chicago Tribune reports. Vaughn is the latest White Sox prospect entering spring training with buzz. In 2019 it was Eloy Jimenez and last year Luis Robert was the toast of camp. Both of those players cemented full-time roles in the lineup, and now Vaughn begins his competition for the open designated hitter job. The 2019 third overall draft pick hasn't played above High-A, but decision-makers in the organization feel he's ready to hit MLB pitching.
General manager Rick Hahn said Wednesday that Vaughn is "very much in the mix" to make the Opening Day roster, James Fegan of The Athletic reports. Vaughn is one of the organization's top prospects, and he was invited to major-league spring training ahead of the 2021 season. The 22-year-old has appeared in just 55 minor-league games, slashing .278/.384/.449 with six home runs and 36 RBI. Hahn has said he's a viable option at designated hitter in 2021 and there wouldn't have been much doubt regarding Vaughn's major-league readiness if there had been a minor-league season in 2020, offering optimism he could make the club to begin the 2021 campaign.
Vaughn received an invitation to major-league camp Thursday. Vaughn is still just 22 years old and has a mere 55 professional games under his belt, but he's an advanced hitter whose big-league debut may not be far off. Under ordinary circumstances, he probably would have spent last year in the upper minors and could have even pushed for a call-up with some strong performances, but the canceled minor-league season robbed him of that opportunity. While he may not be given serious consideration for an Opening Day spot, he could be with the team fairly early in the season if he looks good in camp and in the minors.
Vaughn is a viable option at designated hitter in 2021, according to general manager Rick Hahn, Scot Gregor of the Chicago Daily Herald reports. Chicago's top prospect and a top-10 fantasy prospect in the game, Vaughn spent the summer impressing White Sox brass at the alternate training site. He has an excellent command of the strike zone and connects with plus power to all fields. Considering he has never played at Double-A or Triple-A, Vaughn shouldn't be expected to win a job in spring training, but he could be assigned to Triple-A with a chance for a first-half call-up.