Vaughan, a native of The Woodlands, Texas, starred at the University of Texas-Arlington from 2016-18. The left-handed hitting slugger improved his OPS each season as a collegian, posting a .738 mark as a freshman before improving to .751 and .930 over his final two years. In 2018, Vaughan put together a historic season as a junior for the Mavericks, launching the fifth-most home runs (14) and the sixth-most triples (six) in single-season program history on his way to a strong .276/.382/.548 slash line.
Following the season, Vaughan was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 12th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. The 6’3, 200-pounder reported to short-season Vermont in the New York-Penn League upon signing, then split the 2019 campaign across three different levels of the Athletics system, reaching as high as Class-A Beloit. He totaled 15 doubles, six triples, and seven home runs in his two years with the Athletics.
Vaughan was released by Oakland in March of 2020, but found a home in the City of Champions Cup with the Joliet Slammers. The City of Champions Cup was a four-team league based out of Joliet, Illinois after the regularly scheduled 2020 Frontier League season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaughan took advantage of his opportunity with the Slammers, putting together a dominant season over the course of 26 games. The 23-year-old led the league in home runs (10), total bases (60), slugging percentage (.769), on-base percentage (.471) and walks (24) to go along with a .321 batting average. He was named a City of Champions Cup All-Star as a designated hitter for his efforts. The Slammers finished the season with a 20-5 record, winning the league championship.