As Carlos Beltran continues to nurse a sore knee and Fernando Martinez, Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis keep getting reps out in right field, Cory Vaughn should be the long-term solution for the New York Mets' vacant right field position in the future.
With so much negative publicity surrounding Mets ownership and their mediocre farm system, it’s nice to finally be able to talk about a shining prospect exceeding expectations.
Cory Vaughn is the son of former big leaguer Greg Vaughn, who was known for his big bat back in the day.
Now, no one here is predicting that Cory will one day replicate his father’s 355 home runs and 1,072 runs batted in—even though it’s more than possible—but as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Vaughn played his college ball at San Diego State University under the watchful eye of Mr. Consistency himself, Tony Gwynn.
If this isn’t an interesting amateur résumé, then I don’t know what is.
A 2010 fourth-round pick under former Mets GM Omar Minaya, Vaughn started his first year of professional ball at short-season Brooklyn of the New York Penn League.
While he benefited from the weak pitching of low-A ball, Vaughn also showed some serious upside by smacking 14 home runs in a park described as a place “where home runs go to die.”
If Carlos Beltran isn't ready for Opening Day, who would you rather see starting in RF?
In Brooklyn, Vaughn also produced a .307 batting average, .396 OBP, 14 doubles, five triples and 12 stolen bases.
While it’s still too early to call this kid a stud, if you compare his numbers to the zero home runs, 17 RBI and .256 batting average that Ike Davis put up in his time at Brooklyn, it’s obvious he already has a leg up on the competition.
Vaughn has been scouted as a very patient hitter who is not a free swinger. He waits for his pitch and can capitalize on a mistake. He is close to mastering the art of taking pitches to get a count he likes and isn’t fooled easily.
This all has been apparent so far this spring, especially in Vaughn’s first at-bat with the big league club.
He knew exactly what he was doing before he stepped to the plate and executed his plan accordingly, taking pitches and fighting his way to a 3-1 count. He then launched the 3-1 offering over the left field wall for a home run in his first major league action.
This all seems like an indicator that the excellent coaching he’s been exposed to may be getting through to him.
Another plus going for Vaughn is that he is not as highly touted as most all-around, five-tool athletes usually are.
With the media exposure kept off Vaughn, he will be given the time to mature and grow into his big body that could one day be smashing balls out of spacious Citi Field.
As seen with the development of Fernando Martinez, it definitely is better for such a young guy to not be put under the microscope so early in his professional career, and Vaughn seems to be doing well while flying under the radar.
As Beltran’s status continues to be a question mark and the three amigos get the greatest number of looks from manager Terry Collins this spring, Vaughn’s right-handed power bat could very well make its way to the big leagues in the near future for the New York Mets.
Barring an injury or slow performances on his way through the Mets minor league system, I wholeheartedly believe we will be seeing Cory Vaughn sometime in the future, whether the near or distant future, manning right field for the New York Mets.
But only time will tell.