Andrew Vaughn and the White Sox won’t face right-hander Alex Manoah in their three-game series this week against the Toronto Blue Jays.
And that’s a shame because Vaughn and Manoah are the two standouts so far from the Major League Baseball draft class of 2019. If they maintain what they've done so far this season, both could be contenders to play in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on July 19.
Vaughn, who was chosen No. 3 in the draft out of Cal, boosted his batting average to .330 — fourth-best in the American League — after a 4-for-4 performance against Toronto on Monday night. He doubled, homered and drove in two runs in Chicago's 8-7 victory.
“His stroke (Monday) was as pure as it could be,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa told the Chicago Tribune.
Vaughn is batting a scorching .548 (17 for 31) over his past six games and hitting at a .416 clip (32 for 77) in 18 games over three weeks. His season numbers include 7 home runs, 32 RBI and a .505 slugging percentage.
A hand injury put Vaughn on the shelf for two weeks in early May but he now has enough plate appearances to qualify for the MLB statistical leaders.
After his third four-hit game in 21 days, Vaughn was asked to explain the difference in his production this season after batting .235 with 15 home runs in 127 games as a rookie last summer.
“Just learning from last year,” Vaughn said. “Learned how to take care of my body better. It’s 162 games. It’s long. Just being smart and being proactive about it.”
Manoah, a right-handed pitcher drafted at No. 11 from West Virginia University, is 8-2 this season with an earned run average of 2.00 that is third-best in the AL.
The two have squared off in three games over two seasons, with Vaughn going 2-for-7 with an RBI. The Jays won all three meetings.
Here’s what MLB.com wrote about each player on draft night:
3) White Sox: Andrew Vaughn, 1B, California
While there was some thought that the White Sox might prefer an up-the-middle player, they didn't overthink it, and they grabbed the best all-around hitter available. If there's a player in this Draft who is most likely to hit .300 with 30 home runs on an annual basis, it's Vaughn. Yes, he's a right-right first baseman who isn't very tall (6-foot-0), but so was Jeff Bagwell.
11) Blue Jays: Alek Manoah, RHP, West Virginia
At 6-6, 260 pounds, Manoah looks the part of a power pitcher. He's physically imposing on the mound and works in the mid-90s with heavy sink and tough plane on his fastball. His hard slider gives him a second weapon that's hard to handle, and he has a solid changeup as well. The key for Manoah will be keeping his large frame in sync, but he's done a nice job of throwing more strikes this spring.
No one else from the 2019 draft has matched what Vaughn and Manoah have achieved so far. Of course, 11 of the 32 players selected were high school prospects, so their timetable to the bigs requires more patience.
Among the 21 drafted out of college, just 10 have tasted life at the MLB level. Here’s what all 32 are doing this season:
1. Orioles: ADLEY RUTSCHMAN, C, Oregon State
Made MLB debut this season, batting .205 with 1 home run in 24 games
2. Royals: BOBB WITT Jr., SS, Colleyville (Texas) Heritage HS
Made MLB debut this season, batting .236 with 8 home runs in 64 games
3. White Sox: ANDREW VAUGHN, 1B/DH/RF Cal
In second MLB season, batting .330 with 7 home runs in 48 games
4. Marlins: JJ BLEDAY, OF Vanderbilt
Batting .209 for Triple-A Jacksonville
5. Tigers: RILEY GREENE, OF, Hagerty HS (Oviedo, Fla.)
Made MLB debut for Detroit on Saturday, going 2-for-3 with two walks
6. Padres: C.J. ABRAMS, Blessed Trinity Catholic HS (Roswell, Ga.)
Recalled from minors this week after injury to Manny Machado; batting .182
7. Reds: NICK LODOLO, LHP, Texas Christian
Went 1-2 with a 5.52 ERA in three April starts, then put on injured list
8. Rangers: JOSH JUNG, 3B, Texas Tech
Expected to make MLB debut this season, is rehabbing after shoulder surgery
9. Braves: SHEA LANGELIERS, C, Baylor
Batting .274 with 12 homers for A’s Triple-A Las Vegas team
10. Giants: HUNTER BISHOP, OF, Arizona State
Batting .215 for Eugene in Advanced A Northwest League
11. Blue Jays: ALEK MANOAH, RHP, West Virginia
In second MLB season, has forged career mark of 17-4 with a 2.71 ERA
12. Mets: BRETT BATY, 3B, Lake Travis HS (Austin, Texas)
Batting .272 for Binghamton in Double-A Eastern League
13. Twins: KEONI CAVACO, 3B, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Still barely 21, batting .236 for Fort Myers in Class-A Florida League
14. Phillies: BRYSON STOTT, SS, UNLV
Made MLB debut this season, batting .163 with 4 homers in 42 games
15. Angels: WILL WILSON, SS, North Carolina State
Now in Giants’ system, batting .240 between Double-A & Triple-A
16. D-backs: CORBIN CARROLL, OF, Lakeside HS (Seattle)
Batting .321 with 15 homers for Amarillo in the Double-A Texas League
17. Nationals: JACKSON RUTLEDGE, RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC
Is 1-4 with a 7.43 ERA for Fredericksburg in Class-A Carolina League
18. Pirates: QUINN PRIESTER, RHP, Cary-Grove HS (Cary, Ill.)
Has pitched just 8.2 innings in minors this season due to oblique injury
19. Cardinals: ZACK THOMPSON, LHP, Kentucky
Made MLB debut in 2022, has 4.50 ERA and no decisions in 3 outings
20. Mariners: GEORGE KIRBY, RHP, Elon
Made MLB debut this season, is 1-2 with 3.56 ERA; 41 strikeouts, 5 walks
21. Braves: BRADEN SHEWMAKE, SS, Texas A&M
Batting .266 for Gwinnett in the Triple-A International League
22. Rays: GREG JONES, SS, UNC Wilmington
Batting .227 with Montgomery in the Double-A Southern League
23. Rockies: MIKE TOGLIA, 1B, UCLA
Batting .214 with 11 homers and 92 strikeouts in 61 games with Double-A Hartford
24. Indians: DANIEL ESPINO, RHP, Georgia Premier Academy (Statesboro, Ga.)
He is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in 4 games with Double-A Akron
25. Dodgers: KODY HOESE, 3B, Tulane
Batting .284 in 37 games for Tulsa in the Double-A Texas League
26. Diamondbacks: BLAKE WALSTON, LHP, New Hanover HS (Wilmington, N.C.)
He is 3-3 with a 5.63 ERA splitting time between Advanced-A and Double-A
27. Cubs: RYAN JENSEN, RHP, Fresno State
He is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in 7 starts with Tennessee in Double-A Southern League
28. Brewers: ETHAN SMALL, LHP, Mississippi State
Has 2.31 in 36 minor league starts, but lost his only MLB outing last month
29. Athletics: LOGAN DAVIDSON, SS, Clemson
Batting .234 with 9 homers in 53 games with Midland in Double-A Texas League
30. Yankees: ANTHONY VOLPE, SS, Delbarton School (Morristown, N.J.)
Batting .234 with 7 homers and 24 stolen bases for Double-A Somerset
31. Dodgers: MICHAEL BUSCH, INF/OF, North Carolina
Batting .279 with 14 homers splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A
32. Astros: KOREY LEE, C, California
Batting .213 with 9 homers for Sugar Land in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League
Cover photo of Andrew Vaughn by Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo