The AZL White Sox finished their weekend earning a record of 2-1 with both of their wins coming in one run games. Aside from finishing the weekend with a winning record, this span of three games also featured plenty of excitement for White Sox fans.
On Friday night, Nick Madrigal picked up his first hit as a member of the White Sox when he slapped a ball through the gap in the right-side of the infield. He would proceed to score on a bloop single off the bat of Harvin Mendoza. Madrigal had a great read on the ball and was able to score uncontested. On Sunday night, he managed to collect his first professional RBI. With the bases loaded, he sent one into right field for a single to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead and that RBI was the difference in a game that saw the White Sox beat the Athletics 2-1.
Defensively, Madrigal moved over from shortstop to second base during the weekend where he looked great. On top of having two clean games at second base, he also showed off his ability to get rid of the ball quickly while turning a double play. Nick was very vocal in the field, helping outfielders understand where they should look to throw the ball, and he helped his infield get to the right spots to be a cut-off man. Seeing him do little things like that shows he will be a leader on the team at the major league level.
Nick Madrigal's time in the AZL has now come to an end. On Monday morning, he will be headed to Kannapolis to begin his assignment with the Intimidators. His time in the AZL was short, but he got to show off all the tools that will earn him a great MLB career over time.
Bryce Bush made his AZL debut on Thursday night, however, it wasn't until Friday night that he got his first hit. Since then, Bush has torn the cover off the ball and has not stopped hitting. He had two hits on Friday against the Cubs, one of them coming with the bases loaded when he jumped on a first pitch fastball, sending it up the middle for an RBI single. On Sunday, he collected his first extra base hit when he lined one into the left center gap for a double that one hopped the fence.
Bryce has been solid defensively to go along with his bat. There were a couple times where he under-threw the ball over to first and that very easily could've resulted from the jitters of playing in his first few professional games. Despite the under-throws, he appears to have an above average arm that will have no problem getting runners out. He's had a lot of action at third base so far and has handled it well. He even swallowed up a rocket of a line drive that was hit his way and has made a couple backhanded plays.
White Sox 2018 2nd rounder Steele Walker made his highly anticipated debut on Saturday as the designated hitter after dealing with an oblique injury that kept him sidelined since the tail end of his collegiate season. He drew a walk in his first at-bat and would ground out in his next two.
On Sunday he was the designated hitter once again and he collected his first professional hit on a line drive he sent to left field for a single. His swing looks great so far, it's smooth and compact. His timing also looks to be fine, which is pretty impressive for a guy that's had to miss an extended amount of time and is making the adjustment going from the college to professional level.
2018 14th rounder Davis Martin got to see his first action as a professional on Sunday in a relief appearance. One runner reached base after he had trouble fielding a grounder, but would proceed to get a double play to eliminate the base runner and get out of the inning. Martin faced the minimum during his time on the mound and didn't allow a hit.
Other notable performers from this weekend include: Taylor Varnell who started on Saturday and has been strong in back-to-back starts (line on Saturday: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), as well as Harvin Mendoza and Cabera Weaver who had two hits each on Friday night.
The AZL White Sox will be off until Wednesday when they will head to Scottsdale to take on the Diamondbacks. First pitch is at 9:00 C.T.
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