Red Sox outfield prospect Eduardo Vaughan has a chance to fly up the team’s prospect rankings board this year, according to SoxProspects.com’s director of scouting Ian Cundall.
“If you’re looking for a prospect who could fly up the Red Sox prospect rankings this year, Vaughan is a great candidate,” Cundall tweeted on Friday. “He checks a lot of boxes, but has a wide variance with his hit-tool. How that develops will go a long way to determining his future potential.”
Vaughan, who turned 20 last month, comes into 2022 ranked by SoxProspects.com as the No. 44 prospect in Boston’s farm system. He originally signed with the Red Sox for $550,000 as an international free agent coming out of Panama in July 2018.
After spending the 2019 season in the Dominican Summer League, Vaughan was unable to play any sort of minor-league ball in 2020 on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 20-year-old did, however, participate in fall instructs and took what he learned there into minor-league spring training last year.
Once minor-league camp broke and extended spring training concluded in June, Vaughan remained in Fort Myers as he wound up spending the entirety of the 2021 campaign with the rookie-level Florida Complex League Red Sox.
In 28 games with the FCL Red Sox, the right-handed hitter batted .226/.362/.405 (108 wRC+) with six doubles, three home runs, 18 RBIs, 16 runs scored, five stolen bases, 18 walks, and 24 strikeouts over 105 plate appearances. He surprisingly fared better against righties (.840 OPS in 74 PAs) as opposed to lefties (.572 OPS in 31 PAs).
Among FCL hitters who made at least 100 trips to the plate in 2021, Vaughan ranked 39th in on-base percentage, 29th in isolated power (.179), and eighth in walk rate (17.1%), per FanGraphs.
Defensively, Vaughan saw playing time at all three outfield positions last year after only playing the corners in 2019. The 6-foot-4, 185 pounder logged 139 1/3 innings in center field, 59 2/3 innings in right field, and six innings in left field while recording a total of five outfield assists.
Shortly before the FCL season ended in September, Cundall wrote that Vaughan “has one of the system’s most projectable frames in the low minors” since he still has room to fill out physically.
“Vaughan already shows plus raw power, his best tool at present,” added Cundall. “His hit tool and approach are still works in progress, and his swing is on the long side, but his hands are quick. … He is a fringe-average runner right now and will likely get slower as he matures, but he has a good arm and a typical right field profile.”
While Cundall noted that Vaughan still has a ways to go developmentally, he also identified the San Miguelito native as a “high-risk, high-reward prospect” with “a wide gap between what he is now and what he could be in the future.”
This winter, Vaughan returned to his home country to suit up for Aguilas Metropolitanas of the Panamanian Professional Baseball League. He posted a .681 OPS across 18 games for the Panama City-based club.
As he prepares for the upcoming minor-league season, Vaughan is projected by SoxProspects.com to begin the year with Low-A Salem. These next few months could prove to be pivotal for Vaughan, who can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this December.
If the Red Sox would prefer not to expose Vaughan to the Rule 5 Draft, they would need to add him to their 40-man roster by late November.
(Picture of Eduardo Vaughan: Bryan Green/Flickr)