Andrew Vaughan follows in the footsteps of the great White Sox 1B

Chicago – Andrew Vaughn has some knowledge of dealing with pressure.

His major league debut with the White Sox in 2021 came in just 254 previous minor league career at-bats for a team projected as World Series contenders. Vaughan also started in left field, the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, in the final week of spring training after an injury to Eloy Jimenez.

So taking over first base in 2023, following a historic White Sox pedigree, shifting positions from Frank Thomas to Paul Conerco to Jose Abreu from 1990, is a challenge for the 24-year-old, but an overwhelming success. it’s not a problem.

“It’s a big footprint,” Vaughan said in an interview on’s New Year’s Eve. “I don’t want to be that guy. I want to be my own player, do my best and help the Sox win.”

First base represents the return of Vaughan, who was selected for the position from the University of California. But Abreu was locked in for a total of nine of his season, so playing time at first base wasn’t immediately available, of course.

Vaughan’s two-year resume includes 139 games in left field, 63 in right field, 38 in first, three in second, and two in third. But Abreu signed a three-year, $58.5 million offseason free agent deal with the World Series champion Astros, so Vaughn’s move was natural.

Bourne topped the 2012 White Sox with 17 homers and 76 RBIs, 28 doubles, 60 points, and a .271/.321/.429 slash line, showing a very solid foundation.

But Abreu’s prominence wasn’t just about replacing numbers, with 243 homers and 863 RBIs, the third-most in White Sox history. As Vaughan explained, Abreu was a true leader.

“Basically, he was the face of the team. Him and Tim [Anderson] Top 2 and lost Pito [Abreu]”He had the clubhouse under his umbrella. He was the guy everybody looked up to. He’s a grinder. I am happy that I learned so much in the short time I was able to play with him.

“It’s a work ethic. It’s impressive to see what that guy does day in and day out. And you want to be like that. That’s why he’s one of the best leaders. Because when I see him doing that, I think, “I want to do that.” I want to be like him.”

How important was Abreu to young players like Vaughan and Gavin Sheets? Vaughn once talked about how he could reach E:60 with Abreu’s leadership, but both players said they were determined to keep Abreu. I decided to step away from my original position and continue working in the outfield if it meant that.

That scenario was never executed. Now is the time for Vaughn to put his stamp first, aside from filling the void left by Abreu’s departure.

“He is going to a rival team and we are losing him. “I’m trying to get out there and prove myself every day.”

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said at the Winter Meeting, “We expect Andrew to continue to improve. It will improve not only his production, but the rest of the club.”

Two of the positives Vaughan cited for the 2022 season were making better use of the ball and establishing consistent and solid contact. It was a lack of stamina at the end of the year.

People are blaming the lesser-known outfielder for why Bourne batted 122-for-22 in the last two months of 2021, posting a .200 average and .580 OPS in September and October. points out the extra wear and tear caused by ’22. Offseason prep is meant to handle a full campaign, so Vaughn doesn’t buy into that idea.

“Everybody wants to play the full season and you don’t want to miss a single game,” said Vaughan, who played 134 games last season. I am mentally focused and working on the whole 162 and working on it day by day.”

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