Cal third baseman Andrew Vaughn is one of the top hitters in the country and is expected to be taken among the first several picks in the Major League draft, which begin Monday, June 3.
But the Bears need him to be a major factor in the postseason, starting with Friday's opening game against TCU in the Arkansas Regional.
Vaughn notes in the video that he is healthy again after an ailment curtailed his playing time in the recent series at Washington, and he does not expect the Bears' lack of postseason experience to be a major factor in the four-team, double-elimination regional tournament, which includes host top-seeded Arkansas (41-17) and fourth-seeded Central Connecticut State (30-21) as well as third-seeded TCU (32-26) and second-seeded Cal (32-18)
Vaughn was the winner of the Golden Spikes award as the nation's best player last season and is a semifinalist this year. He leads the team in batting average (.387) and home runs (15), and is third nationally in on-base percentage (.549). The latter number is the product of Vaughn's 58 walks, as opposing pitchers are reluctant to give him anything to hit. He says he has learned to be patient at the plate, and he no doubt will need to be patient in this weekend's regionals, which start Friday and continue Saturday and Sunday and possibly Monday.
Vaughn, like every other Cal player likely to play Friday, has never played in a postseason game. TCU and Arkansas have plenty of postseason experience. Arkansas came close to winning the national championship last year, before settling for runnerup status.