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The MLB First Year Players Draft occurs in early June. The event serves as an exciting time for the future of not only each franchise, but the sport of baseball itself. Teams will clamor after the guy they view as their next star, as well as try to strike gold in the later rounds.
We will have to see how the careers of players such as Royce Lewis (2017 1st overall pick, Minnesota Twins) and Casey Mize (2018 1st overall pick, Detroit Tigers) will pan out. For now, though, we will be taking a look at a few prospects who will be selected come June over these next few months.
First baseman Andrew Vaughn looks to be the most polished hitter in this draft class. MLB.com has the Cal infielder rated as the third-best prospect in the class. He was tied for the team lead in home runs as a freshman, a performance that lead him to win PAC-12 Freshman of the Year. He followed that campaign up by hitting .402 with 23 homers as a sophomore, which lead him to be one of the few underclassmen to win the Golden Spikes award, which is the college baseball equivalent of the Heisman trophy.
Vaughn has a knack for barreling up the ball. He has an advanced approach to the plate, which resulted in more walks than punch outs. He doesn’t sacrifice power either, and looks like a prototypical middle-of-the-order run producer. His defense at first is serviceable, with a nice glove and strong throwing arm.
Vaughn should be called at some point within the first 5-10 picks in the draft, but he wants to continue to pursue his degree.
“I would definitely go back to school,” he told Baseball America. “I’d make sure that happened because getting my degree from Cal would be the greatest thing. That’s one of my dreams besides playing baseball, getting a degree from there. Just do everything I can to set myself up to be successful.”
Per speculation, the Detroit Tigers would love to have him on the board at #5. Vaughn could be their heir apparent at first to Miguel Cabrera. He does not contain that kind of ceiling, but reminds me of a Joey Votto/Anthony Rizzo, and could still be a force in the Motor City. The Baltimore Orioles could also take a look at him for the first overall pick, as they could be looking for a long-term bat that could thrive in Camden’s confines.
I do not see Andrew Vaughn falling past the top 10.
Click here to watch some of his 2018 highlights.
Featured Image: Dave Donovan Photography