Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Acquisition Targets Based On DRC+

Who are some buy-low candidates the Pirates could go after based on DRC+?

Aug 30, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn (25) rounds
Aug 30, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn (25) rounds / Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
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Andrew Vaughn - 113 DRC+

The Chicago White Sox are listening to any and all players. One who will likely get calls on is first baseman Andrew Vaughn. The Pirates need someone who can handle one of the positions on the right side of the infield, and if the White Sox are open to moving anyone, then Andrew Vaughn should at least be on their radar.

Vaughn was the definition of a league-average batter. His .254/.314/.429 triple-slash was nearly a mirror image of the average .248/.320/.414 slash. Vaughn had a 21% strikeout rate but a poor 5.0% walk rate. He did hit 21 home runs with a .171 isolated slugging, which was about the only above-average part of his game. All told he had a 103 wRC+.

The issue is Vaughn is not a good defensive first baseman. DRS and UZR/150 had him around average, but outs above average hated him with -6. While a league-average hitter isn’t bad, he definitely could improve or break out next season with the bat.

Vaughn had a 113 DRC+, which compares nicely with Gunnar Henderson (113) and Austin Riley (114). Vaughn’s issue isn’t hitting the ball hard. He had a 90.6 MPH exit velocity (73rd percentile) and a 46.5% hard-hit rate (79th percentile). But he does not lift the ball enough. Vaughn had a sub-20% line drive rate for the third season in a row and hasn’t had a fly ball rate above 35% since 2021. Players including Kyle Tucker, Anthony Santander, and Bobby Witt Jr. have a similar exit velocity and hard-hit rate, but a launch angle of at least 14.8 degrees. Vaughn sits at just 11.4.