WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Oct. 10, 2019) – USA Baseball announced on Thursday that Winston-Salem Dash alums Tyler Johnson and Andrew Vaughn have been named to their roster for the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12™, a tournament that is the first opportunity for Team USA to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
ABOVE PHOTO – Tyler Johnson
Johnson, who was drafted in the fifth round by the White Sox in 2017, pitched for theWinston-Salem Dash in each of the last two years. A former closer for the University of South Carolina, Johnson recorded a 1.45 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 21 appearances for Winston-Salem in 2018. This past year, the right-hander returned to Winston-Salem after recovering from a lat strain and yielded a 1.80 ERA in seven outings before being promoted to Double-A Birmingham.
Andrew Vaughn, who was selected with the third overall pick in this year’s draft by the Chicago White Sox, played 29 games for Winston-Salem this season. A superstar in college with the University of California-Berkeley, Vaughn recorded a batting line of .252/.349/.411 with eight doubles, three homers and 21 RBIs for the Dash. Before joining the professional ranks, Vaughn had an incredible career at Cal. As a sophomore in 2018, the first baseman won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur player in the United States and the Pac-12 Player of the Year award. He finished his collegiate career with 50 home runs, the third most in Golden Bears history.
Johnson and Vaughn are two of six Team USA alumni on the roster. Johnson pitched for the Collegiate National Team in 2016, while Vaughn played for the Collegiate National Team in 2017.
The U.S. will begin WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.
The top finisher from both the Americas territory and Asia/Oceania territory (excluding Japan) will join host-country Japan and WBSC Baseball Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier champion Israel in the six-team Olympic tournament. The final two Olympic berths will be decided in March 2020.
Four-time World Series Champion Joe Girardi was named the manager of the Premier12™ roster in August and is joined by a coaching staff laden with international experience. Bench Coach Scott Brosius, Bullpen Coach Roly de Armas, Hitting Coach Phil Plantier, Pitching Coach Bryan Price, Third Base Coach Willie Randolph and First Base Coach Ernie Young collectively have 21 years of playing and coaching experience with Team USA, winning seven gold medals.
The team will train in Surprise, Arizona, from October 21-28 at the Kansas City Royals Spring Training facility before traveling to Mexico for the opening round of the Premier12™.
The Winston-Salem Dash are the Class A-Advanced Minor League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 336-714-2287 or visit www.wsdash.com.