White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn keeps it simple, steers clear of new-age hitting

“I try to stay away from all the analytics because it will get into my head,” Vaughn said.

SHARE White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn keeps it simple, steers clear of new-age hitting
“I try to stay away from all the analytics because it will get to my head,” White Sox prospect Andrew Vaugh said. “So I go out there with what feels good in the cage and bring it to the game. See it and hit it.”

“I try to stay away from all the analytics because it will get into my head,” White Sox prospect Andrew Vaughn said. “So I go out there with what feels good in the cage and bring it to the game. See it and hit it.”

John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Top first base prospect Andrew Vaughn is keeping his head down, his eyes open and his swing simple in his first major-league spring training.

“It’s been great being around the guys in this locker room, the top guys in the organization,” said Vaughn, 21, the 16th-ranked prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. “I’m always watching to see how guys do it because I want to know the ropes, so when I get there, I come in and fit right in.”

Vaughn’s swing and approach got him drafted third overall last June, and he keeps it simple. In this age of technology, he says analytics are not for him.

“Just trying to do damage on a good pitch,” he said. “I try to stay away from all the analytics because it will get into my head. So I go out there with what feels good in the cage and bring it to the game. See it and hit it.

“If you think about [launch angle], you start doing weird stuff. You see guys swinging PVC pipes, doing weird stuff with their swings, and that’s just not me.”

Gonzalez, Giolito updates

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez said “there’s light at the end of the tunnel” as he works through a sore shoulder. Gonzalez is throwing at 120 feet.

“If you would’ve asked me two weeks ago, I would’ve told you no chance,” he said.

Gonzalez signed a one-year, $5 million deal in the offseason. General manager Rick Hahn says Gonzalez is expected to be ready by Opening Day.

“At least this is happening now during spring training, so I can make the adjustments right away and get stronger as I move along,” Gonzalez said. “We have plenty of arms here to fill the spot. I’m just trying to get healthy, so I can do my part and show the White Sox what they signed me for.”

Right-hander Lucas Giolito (strained chest muscle in rib cage) is “doing very, very well” and “nearing where he’ll be getting back out there and throwing,” manager Rick Renteria said.

Walk this way

Leury Garcia, who walked only 21 times in 618 plate appearances last season, was Renteria’s leadoff man 134 times in 2019, but that might change with a deeper lineup in 2020. Garcia knows he probably would warrant more consideration as a leadoff hitter if he walked more. He said he wants to improve the on-base percentage in his 2019 hitting line (.279/.310/.378 in 140 games).

“I would like to draw more walks, get on base more and score more runs,” Garcia said. “Just swing at better pitches and cut down the strikeouts.”

Garcia struck out 139 times last year. He stands a good chance of opening the season at second base and possibly taking a utility role if and when second base prospect Nick Madrigal gets called up.

This and that

Class AAA left-hander Hunter Schryver is scheduled for Tommy John surgery Thursday in Chicago. Schryver had a 2.77 ERA in 30 appearances at Class AA Birmingham and an 8.66 ERA in 10 games at Class AAA Charlotte last season.

  • Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is in minor-league camp after signing a minor-league deal. Hernandez, 32, hit .143/.218/.243 in 57 plate appearances for the Red Sox last season. He hit 15 home runs for the Giants in 2018.

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