2010-08-13 / Sports

Talented Cyclones Slugger Sets Path to Majors

By Ryan Lazo

Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman (left) gives advice to Cory Vaughn. Photo by Errol Anderson Brooklyn Cyclones manager Wally Backman (left) gives advice to Cory Vaughn. Photo by Errol Anderson Greg Vaughn destroyed major league pitching throughout his 15-year career, but it’s now his son who is carving up minor league pitching en route to making a name for himself on his own.

Brooklyn Cyclones player Cory Vaughn grew up in major league clubhouses because of his father’s major league career. He was always around the game that he soon grew to love. Watching professionals work at their craft every single day also helped shape the work ethic Vaughn shows in his own regimens.

“I’ve been around baseball my whole life and because of that I watched how the game’s greats prepared,” he said. “I saw that if I wanted to do this professionally, I would have to put forth a great deal of effort to make it a reality.”

In high school Vaughn played three major sports – football, basketball and baseball. His favorite sport to play was football, but he hated the waiting around between games and decided baseball’s marathon season was the one for him.

Vaughn was able to take his baseball talents to San Diego State University and play for Hall of Fame manager, Tony Gwynn. Vaughn said the most important lesson that Gwynn taught him was to “stay through the ball and drive it toward right center.”

At SDSU he also participated in Strasburg mania that consumed every start he made on campus. Scouts from all over the country would attend games to see Strasburg pitch, which put extreme pressure on his teammates to perform at a high level. However, Vaughn saw the extra attention as a good thing.

“Obviously the scouts were all there to see Strasy, but it also gave us chances to open some of the scouts’ eyes to our play and that’s something we wouldn’t have had without Strasy,” he said.

What scouts saw was a major league build on a kid with a major league pedigree. During his final season at SDSU, Vaughn hit 9 home runs in only 180 at bats. The pop in his bat to go along with his 6-foot-3-inch, 230-pound frame gave the Mets all they needed to make him their fourth round draft choice this year.

He has displayed even more pop this season for the Brooklyn Cyclones. Through his first 184 at bats, he has connected for 12 home runs and 43 RBIs, totals that leave him just shy of two Cyclones team records. He only needs one more home run and three more RBIs to surpass Frank Corr’s 2001 campaign.

Vaughn has been the rare player that has made the seamless transition from hitting with a metal bat to a wood bat. Most players, including star Cyclones player Darrell Ceciliani, struggle their first season, but not Vaughn. He says there’s a simple explanation.

“In college we did not play every day like we do now and that allows me to get my timing down to consistently be at my best,” he said.

His timing has been just right thus far in the season and the Mets organization believes that he will be timing up major league pitchers very soon.

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