Andrew Vaughn’s first impression was a good one.
The White Sox’ No. 3 overall draft pick, generally viewed as the best hitter available in the draft, homered in his second game as a professional on Tuesday, belting a home run his first time up and going 4-for-5 with two doubles as well. In his first game, Vaughn went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles for the Sox’ affiliate in the Arizona rookie league.
Vaughn, a right-handed hitting first baseman, will be promoted “in a couple of days,” director of player development Chris Getz said. “Even with the layoff, he didn’t waste any time. You kind of just look at his swing, this is what made him attractive in the draft.
“He has a natural sense of timing. He likes the bat path. He likes the balance. Uses the entire field. He’s comfortable hitting with two strikes. He can drive the ball to all fields.”
Vaughn is expected to go to low Class A Kannapolis.
High praise for Robert
At Class AA Birmingham, Luis Robert isn’t letting up. Robert is batting .349/.401/.616 with 15 homers, 20 doubles, six triples, 51 RBI, 60 runs scored and 26 stolen bases over 72 games between Class A Winston-Salem and Birmingham.
“Speaking to scouts that have covered the Southern League for the last 10 years, I’ve heard some guys say they haven’t see a player like this come through there in some time,” Getz said.
Bring him up? Promote to Class AAA? Getz wasn’t as conclusive about that.
“In terms of laying out the rest of the year, when he’s ready for the next challenge, we’re discussing it,” Getz said. “He’s going to the Futures Game this weekend and look forward to having Jim Thome managing that.
Hardware for Abreu
Jose Abreu, who hit the game-winning homer in the Sox’ 9-6 victory in the nightcap, received his 2018 Silver Slugger Award, given to the best offensive player at his position, before the first game. The first 20,000 fans received Abreu Silver Slugger bobbleheads. Abreu (2014, ’18), Carlton Fisk (1981, ’85, ’88), Frank Thomas (1991, ’93-94, 2000), Magglio Ordoñez (2000, ’02) and Alexei Ramírez (2010, ’14) are the only players in Sox history to win multiple Silver Slugger Awards.
McCann on fire
James McCann singled, doubled, walked and drove in two runs in Game 1, raising his average to .324 and OPS up to .903. Per Stats Pass, the highest average in franchise history for a qualified catcher is A.J. Pierzynski (.300) in 2009, and the highest OPS is .874 by Fisk in 1983. McCann went 0-for-5 in the nightcap.
This and that
Reynaldo Lopez, who was scheduled to start the game that was rained out Tuesday, will start Thursday. Lucas Giolito starts Saturday against the Cubs, followed by Ivan Nova on Sunday.
— The Sox requested waivers on -Yonder Alonso for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. Alonso was designated for assignment Friday.