Cal Baseball: Andrew Vaughn Lands Spot in White Sox 60-Man Pool

Jeff Faraudo

Former Cal star Andrew Vaughn has landed a spot on the Chicago White Sox 60-man roster for Major League baseball’s 60-game season. That doesn’t mean he is likely to get big league at-bats this summer.

The White Sox filled 44 spots on their roster this week, including Vaughn. They eventually can carry 60 in the pool of players eligible to play this season.

Players will begin “summer camp” this week and a 30-man active roster will be set for each team for the start of the schedule in late July. The others will continue to train together at an alternate site.

The active rosters will be reduced to 28 players two weeks into the season, then to 26 two weeks after that.

Vaughn, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2019 draft, spent spring training with the White Sox big league camp and batted .304 through 13 games. But the 22-year-old first baseman was expected to be assigned to a Single-A team to start the season before the pandemic shut things down.

Here’s of a video of my conversation with Vaughn from May after spring training was halted two months earlier:

Being included in the 60-player pool is an expression of the organization’s commitment to Vaughn, who won the Golden Spikes Award as college baseball’s top player during his sophomore season at Cal in 2018.

Any player who is removed from the 60-man pool must pass through waivers, allowing another club to potentially snag him, so Vaughn is certain to retain a spot in the pool for the duration of the season. By placing just 44 players in their initial pool, the Sox left themselves wiggle room to tweak their roster and protect anyone considered important.

Vince Parise of Southside Showdown, a website covering the White Sox, wrote, "It was really cool to see Andrew Vaughn and (pitcher) Dane Dunning on the list. It is hard to predict the impact that these two will have in 2020 but the organization has high hopes for them in the long term. These young guys are the key to the organization so getting them on the right track is so important.”

Scott Merkin, who covers the team for MLB.com, is not convinced Vaughn will see action on the field this summer.

“Vaughn only has 55 games and 205 at-bats at the Minor League level, having never played above Class A Advanced Winston-Salem after being selected third overall in the 2019 Draft,” Merkin wrote.

“It would be interesting to see Vaughn let it rip in this shortened season, with so many within and outside the organization giving plaudits to his offensive approach. But he’s more than likely not to see Major League time in this abbreviated campaign.”

There is no minor-league option this season because for the first time in 120 years the organization has canceled a full season.

As a result, seven of the top 10 White Sox prospects, as rated by MLB Pipeline, are part of the 44-man roster. They are: outfielder Luis Robert (No. 1), Vaughn (No. 2), right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech (No. 3), second baseman Nick Madrigal (No. 4), Dunning (No. 6), outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe (No. 9) and catcher Zack Collins (No. 10).

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Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo

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