Greg Vaughn hit 355 home run in his major league career, including 11 against the New York Mets. He was a four-time All-Star and surpassed 30 home runs four times in his 15-year career.
Vaughn, a fourth-round draft pick last year out of San Diego State where he played for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, had an eye-opening debut summer season for Brooklyn in the Class A New York – Penn League.
He showed the power-speed combination his father possessed, hitting .307/.396/.557 in 72 games for the Cyclones as a 21-year-old. The right-handed hitter had 14 doubles, five triples, 14 homers and 56 RBI in 72 games with 34 walks and a rather-high 63 strikeouts. He was successful on 12-of-17 stolen base attempts and led the league in slugging and OPS (.953) while ranking second in homers and RBI.
The younger Vaughn is built like his father at 6-3 and 225 pounds, has power potential and will be a plus-hitter if he can stay away from breaking balls and curb his strikeouts.
Vaughn hit .378 with team highs of nine homers and 55 RBI in his junior season at San Diego State under Gwynn and cut down on his swing after turning pro. Scouts say Vaughn plays a decent corner outfield spot – he played right for Brooklyn – and has an average arm.
In addition to his father and playing under Gwynn, whom his father played with from 1996-98, Vaughn played with Washington Nationals pitching phenom Stepen Strasburg in college.
“We played him in the fall,” Vaughn told ESPN.com last summer “I got him once or twice, but he got me the other times. But it was a great battle. Not take him deep, but I squared him up a few times. Not too many. It was challenging, and I like that. It made me better a little bit to see some good stuff.”
Vaughn will have one other challenge to overcome; he is a diabetic and monitors with an insulin pump while he plays.
“Coach Gwynn, the first thing he says to me, he goes, ‘Hey, there’s no cell phones or MP3 players on the field,’” Vaughn told ESPN.com. “The first day I went out to practice, because I’m diabetic and I wear an insulin pump, I had the pump in my back pocket, and it’s connected to me. I’m like, ‘No coach. I’m diabetic. This is my stuff.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, oh.’”
As for his Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, which leaves his body unable to self-regulate its blood sugar levels, Vaughn has dealt with the condition since being diagnosed at 11 years old.
“You’ll see it in my pocket. It’s like a little pump,” Vaughn said of the apparatus he carries with him, even during games. “I stick a needle in my thigh. And I take the needle out, and there’s like a little catheter in me and it just pumps insulin every hour.
“It is what it is. Either I do it, or it’s not going to be any good. It really wasn’t an obstacle. I just took it as a mountain I had to climb. I’ve been doing very well at it.”
Vaughn is in the process of scaling the mountain to the major leagues as well.