Vaughn Hard At Work

ST. LUCIE, FL - An outfielder for the high-A St. Lucie Mets, Cory Vaughn possesses raw power that is hard to come by. As he works to improve his average Vaughn certainly has reliable advice to fall back on. He has had the unique opportunity to be mentored by significant MLB icons including his father, Greg Vaughn, and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

Along with instruction from St. Lucie coaches, Vaughn takes what he's learned to the field with him every day and demonstrates the qualities of a true leader. Growing up around the game has motivated him to work at being the best he can be.

Cory Vaughn is a big ballplayer with an athletic body. He has a lot of pop and isn't afraid to swipe a bag either. With the potential to hit the ball out at any moment, pitchers face him with caution. Vaughn is near the top of the league in home runs with 14, matching his career high.

"Pitchers are aware of when he's coming up, especially when there are runners on base just because of the power potential that he has," St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis said. "Right now he has more pull side power but I see that going across into right center field as he develops."

"Vaughn brings a presence," hitting coach Benny Distefano stated. "He's a big young man with a great athletic body. He has the ability to break open the game with one swing of the bat and really drive the ball a long ways, and hit it hard all over the field. He has a chance to be a good big league hitter with power."

A lot of Vaughn's childhood was spent travelling with his father, Greg Vaughn, who played in the majors as an outfielder from 1989-2003 mostly with the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres. He leans on advice he learned growing up in the major league atmosphere. Vaughn shared some stories and showed the humorous side that his teammates have come to enjoy.

"Man it was a blast being able to go into all the big league locker rooms and clubhouses," Vaughn said smiling. "I used to go out on the field shagging batting practice and having fun. I'd eat all the candy in the lunch room and meet all the players."

While enjoying the opportunity, Vaughn also took advantage of it. He learned all he could about the game. He also learned a lot from his father.

"He told me never to be satisfied," Vaughn shared, "that you really have to be grateful for the opportunity that you have in life in general but also that you have to be desperate to get to the top. You have to be grateful but desperate at the same time. And just never stop working."

Vaughn takes this mentality with him to the ballpark every day, and as his batting average has slowly fallen, he's been hard at work to take his game to another level. Vaughn hit .263 in April, .217 in May, and .192 in June. He's drawn 39 walks and struck out 70 times in 276 at-bats.

Vaughn is now batting only .225 overall but has shown signs of bouncing back, going 5 for 11 in his previous three games, including a triple, before going 0-5 on Tuesday. He is constantly working with Distefano to improve. You won't see him take a day off.

"He grew up around the game of baseball and understands what it takes to get to the big leagues," Distefano said. "He has very good work ethic and understands what he has to do."

Ellis noted what Vaughn is working on and what he needs to do to thrive at the plate.

"He's working on not lunging toward the ball, not leaking… and using more of his legs into his swing," Ellis said. He's such a strong guy that sometimes he can get away with just using his upper body but I think the more the season progresses the more he really has an understanding of how his body is working, especially with his lower half. He has to maintain that lower half in order to be more successful."

While Vaughn is hard at work to get more base hits, whether it be at the tee or in the cages, there's one piece of advice he emphasizes. It's something his San Diego State University head coach, Tony Gwynn, constantly reminded him of.

"He told me that you don't always have to pull the ball," Vaughn conveyed. "You can let the ball get deep. My hands are quicker than my head thinks, you know? So just let the ball get deep and just take the knob to the ball really. Not letting it travel to the point where you're jamming yourself… just take the knob to the ball and the bat will follow.

"I have the ability to hit the ball to right field. Lately a lot of stuff has been rolling over when I need to get back to right-center. But I can drive the ball to the other side of the field and thrive off of that."

Vaughn also gave insight into his hitting approach right now, and what he's working on at the plate during a game.

"Sometimes I get caught in between where I'm almost too fine, to where I want be aggressive and hit the fastball but at the same time don't swing at anything in the dirt. That's why I'm in a little funk lately.

"My plan now is to be aggressive with something in the zone. Just go out there, watch his timing and let it fly. Hit it where it's pitched.

"I'm trying to be slow and early because the faster you go the faster the game. The faster you're moving and all that, the faster the ball looks and the less time you have. So if I can be slow and early with a nice tempo that eliminates half the battle."

Vaughn admitted that results at the plate can be puzzling sometimes but it's important not to let it get you down. It's important to stay even keel mentally and getting better is what drives him.

"Hitting is just one of those rollercoaster things, you know? You're going to have tough times but if it was too easy it wouldn't be fun. So that's what keeps me coming back for more. It's wanting to go out there and get better and better, and work on stuff every day."

Vaughn actually keeps his own book on pitchers he's faced. It's this kind of preparation that makes him stand out as a dedicated leader in the clubhouse.

"I go out there with a game plan," he stated. "We know what pitchers are pitching the night before the next game usually. I just look in my book because I keep a book on me and if I faced him before I'll be able to look in the book an hour before the game.

"I'll be like, okay, well the last time I faced him he liked to throw me in, or he liked to start me off fastball away then fastball in, or tried to get me to chase the soft stuff away or stuff like that.

"So I'll usually have a game plan on how I'm going to approach it. But then if they change it during the game that's when I change it as well. I try to not make it too complicated. It's a job but at the same time it's a game, you know? So just go out there and see the ball, and hit the ball hard."

This type of preparation is noticed by coaches. His personality also glows alongside his commitment to the team.

"He was brought up in a baseball family and he knows the little nuances of the game, such as how to act in a clubhouse," Ellis said. "That translates into him being a leader in the clubhouse and on the field."

"He has a tremendous presence and attitude," Distefano added. "He plays the game hard the right way, and he's got a great sense of humor to break things up. Those are all intangibles that any ball club looks for."

"I go out there and give it everything I have every single day," Vaughn expressed. "I go out there and do everything I can to help this team win."

As he passionately works to develop his game, Vaughn's work ethic and leadership will go a long way.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nAlong with instruction from St. Lucie coaches, Vaughn takes what he's learned to the field with him every day and demonstrates the qualities of a true leader. Growing up around the game has motivated him to work at being the best he can be.
\r\n
\r\nCory Vaughn is a big ballplayer with an athletic body. He has a lot of pop and isn't afraid to swipe a bag either. With the potential to hit the ball out at any moment, pitchers face him with caution. Vaughn is near the top of the league in home runs with 14, matching his career high.
\r\n
\r\n\"Pitchers are aware of when he's coming up, especially when there are runners on base just because of the power potential that he has,\" St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis said. \"Right now he has more pull side power but I see that going across into right center field as he develops.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Vaughn brings a presence,\" hitting coach Benny Distefano stated. \"He's a big young man with a great athletic body. He has the ability to break open the game with one swing of the bat and really drive the ball a long ways, and hit it hard all over the field. He has a chance to be a good big league hitter with power.\"
\r\n
\r\nA lot of Vaughn's childhood was spent travelling with his father, Greg Vaughn, who played in the majors as an outfielder from 1989-2003 mostly with the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres. He leans on advice he learned growing up in the major league atmosphere. Vaughn shared some stories and showed the humorous side that his teammates have come to enjoy.
\r\n
\r\n\"Man it was a blast being able to go into all the big league locker rooms and clubhouses,\" Vaughn said smiling. \"I used to go out on the field shagging batting practice and having fun. I'd eat all the candy in the lunch room and meet all the players.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile enjoying the opportunity, Vaughn also took advantage of it. He learned all he could about the game. He also learned a lot from his father.
\r\n
\r\n\"He told me never to be satisfied,\" Vaughn shared, \"that you really have to be grateful for the opportunity that you have in life in general but also that you have to be desperate to get to the top. You have to be grateful but desperate at the same time. And just never stop working.\"
\r\n
\r\nVaughn takes this mentality with him to the ballpark every day, and as his batting average has slowly fallen, he's been hard at work to take his game to another level. Vaughn hit .263 in April, .217 in May, and .192 in June. He's drawn 39 walks and struck out 70 times in 276 at-bats.
\r\n
\r\nVaughn is now batting only .225 overall but has shown signs of bouncing back, going 5 for 11 in his previous three games, including a triple, before going 0-5 on Tuesday. He is constantly working with Distefano to improve. You won't see him take a day off.
\r\n
\r\n\"He grew up around the game of baseball and understands what it takes to get to the big leagues,\" Distefano said. \"He has very good work ethic and understands what he has to do.\"
\r\n
\r\nEllis noted what Vaughn is working on and what he needs to do to thrive at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's working on not lunging toward the ball, not leaking… and using more of his legs into his swing,\" Ellis said. He's such a strong guy that sometimes he can get away with just using his upper body but I think the more the season progresses the more he really has an understanding of how his body is working, especially with his lower half. He has to maintain that lower half in order to be more successful.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile Vaughn is hard at work to get more base hits, whether it be at the tee or in the cages, there's one piece of advice he emphasizes. It's something his San Diego State University head coach, Tony Gwynn, constantly reminded him of.
\r\n
\r\n\"He told me that you don't always have to pull the ball,\" Vaughn conveyed. \"You can let the ball get deep. My hands are quicker than my head thinks, you know? So just let the ball get deep and just take the knob to the ball really. Not letting it travel to the point where you're jamming yourself… just take the knob to the ball and the bat will follow.
\r\n
\r\n\"I have the ability to hit the ball to right field. Lately a lot of stuff has been rolling over when I need to get back to right-center. But I can drive the ball to the other side of the field and thrive off of that.\"
\r\n
\r\nVaughn also gave insight into his hitting approach right now, and what he's working on at the plate during a game.
\r\n
\r\n\"Sometimes I get caught in between where I'm almost too fine, to where I want be aggressive and hit the fastball but at the same time don't swing at anything in the dirt. That's why I'm in a little funk lately.
\r\n
\r\n\"My plan now is to be aggressive with something in the zone. Just go out there, watch his timing and let it fly. Hit it where it's pitched.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm trying to be slow and early because the faster you go the faster the game. The faster you're moving and all that, the faster the ball looks and the less time you have. So if I can be slow and early with a nice tempo that eliminates half the battle.\"
\r\n
\r\nVaughn admitted that results at the plate can be puzzling sometimes but it's important not to let it get you down. It's important to stay even keel mentally and getting better is what drives him.
\r\n
\r\n\"Hitting is just one of those rollercoaster things, you know? You're going to have tough times but if it was too easy it wouldn't be fun. So that's what keeps me coming back for more. It's wanting to go out there and get better and better, and work on stuff every day.\"
\r\n
\r\nVaughn actually keeps his own book on pitchers he's faced. It's this kind of preparation that makes him stand out as a dedicated leader in the clubhouse.
\r\n
\r\n\"I go out there with a game plan,\" he stated. \"We know what pitchers are pitching the night before the next game usually. I just look in my book because I keep a book on me and if I faced him before I'll be able to look in the book an hour before the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'll be like, okay, well the last time I faced him he liked to throw me in, or he liked to start me off fastball away then fastball in, or tried to get me to chase the soft stuff away or stuff like that.
\r\n
\r\n\"So I'll usually have a game plan on how I'm going to approach it. But then if they change it during the game that's when I change it as well. I try to not make it too complicated. It's a job but at the same time it's a game, you know? So just go out there and see the ball, and hit the ball hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nThis type of preparation is noticed by coaches. His personality also glows alongside his commitment to the team.
\r\n
\r\n\"He was brought up in a baseball family and he knows the little nuances of the game, such as how to act in a clubhouse,\" Ellis said. \"That translates into him being a leader in the clubhouse and on the field.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"He has a tremendous presence and attitude,\" Distefano added. \"He plays the game hard the right way, and he's got a great sense of humor to break things up. Those are all intangibles that any ball club looks for.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I go out there and give it everything I have every single day,\" Vaughn expressed. \"I go out there and do everything I can to help this team win.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs he passionately works to develop his game, Vaughn's work ethic and leadership will go a long way.
\r\n
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