Andrew Vaughn leads 21 non-roster invitees to White Sox spring training

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Vinnie Duber
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Vaughn leads 21 non-roster invitees to Sox spring training originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The White Sox announced their list of 21 players not already on the 40-man roster who will be attending major league spring training, which gets going for the South Siders next week.

The clear headliner of the group is the organization's top ranked prospect, Andrew Vaughn, who looks like the leading candidate to assume the bulk of the designated-hitting duties in 2021.

Vaughn was recently ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the game by The Athletic's Keith Law, placing in the top 15 in lists whipped up by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, as well. He's been described as possessing a very advanced bat since the White Sox drafted him with the No. 3 pick in 2019. But plenty of valid questions continue to pop up among the fan base about whether Vaughn, who's never played above A-ball, will be ready to play a featured role for a White Sox team with championship aspirations in 2021.

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Among the other 20 players included in Thursday's announcement are some familiar faces, some longtime farmhands and newcomers with plenty of major league experience.

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, infielders Tim Beckham and Marco Hernández, outfielder Nick Williams and pitchers Emilio Vargas and Mike Wright are all coming to camp.

Lucroy was a two-time All Star during his days with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he figures to provide a veteran alternative should the defensive questions about young backstops Zack Collins and Yermín Mercedes prevent them from winning the spot behind Yasmani Grandal on the White Sox depth chart.

Beckham was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, and though he hasn't lived up to his draft slot, he's spent six seasons in the majors. Hernández played in 122 games for the Boston Red Sox from 2016 to 2019. The left-handed hitting Williams appeared in 290 games for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2017 to 2019. Vargas, who the White Sox claimed off waivers earlier this offseason, spent seven seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization. Wright pitched in five big league seasons, mostly with the Baltimore Orioles, before playing in South Korea last year.

Other invitees with major league experience include infielder Matt Reynolds and pitchers Tayron Guererro, Jacob Lindgren and Connor Sadzeck.

Some more familiar names to White Sox fans that are coming to camp include Ryan Burr, who made 24 appearances for the major league club in 2018 and 2019 before requiring Tommy John surgery. Alex McRae made a couple pitching appearances for the White Sox last season. Pitching prospects Danny Dopico, Kodi Medeiros, Kade McClure, Félix Paulino, Bennett Sousa and Matt Tomshaw are all on the invite list, as well, along with infield prospect Zach Remillard and catching prospect Carlos Pérez.

Pitchers and catchers are due to report to White Sox camp next Wednesday, Feb. 17, with the team's first full-squad workout coming Feb. 22.

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