The White Sox tabbed another elite college performer and selected 2B/SS Nick Madrigal from Oregon State fourth overall in the 2018 draft.
School: Oregon St. (Junior)
Position: Second Baseman
Height/Weight: 5-7, 160 lbs
Previously Drafted: 2015, 17th (514 overall) – Cleveland
FutureSox Draft Profile
2018 Stats: .406/.470/.586, 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 11 SB (0 CS), 13 BB, 5 K, 133 AB
Many experts predicted the White Sox would select University of Florida starter Brady Singer, but in a mild surprise, they opted for polished hit tool and overall game of Nick Madrigal. Madrigal brings instant offense from a middle infield spot (more on that later) and those elusive and sought after great intangibles.
“Sometimes at times when you get high, high-ceiling guys or high-profile guys, sometimes you have to motivate them or look after them. Not this guy. Zero maintenance. Great human being, good student. He’ll be in the big leagues in 1 1/2 or 2 years. I get it, you’ve got to develop. But put him in a big league uniform, and he can play.” — Pat Casey, Oregon State Head Coach
After being drafted in the 17th round as a California prep player, Madrigal wisely chose to attend Oregon State and took NCAA baseball by storm, slashing .333/.380/.456 and was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He built upon those numbers in his sophomore and junior year, improving in every offensive statistic and earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors this season.
Madrigal puts up such prestigious numbers thanks to a contact-oriented approach at the plate that sprays line drives to all fields. Over his three collegiate seasons, Madrigal has struck out a mere 35 times compared to 55 walks covering a staggering 565 at-bats.
The one notable caveat to his offense game is raw power and MLB Pipeline graded it a 40 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. But he is equipped with good speed and he is aggressive on the base paths, swiping 16 bags last season and 11 more this year, making him a prototypical top of the order difference maker.
A natural shortstop through high school and the beginning to his college career, Madrigal moved to second base to accommodate his slick-fielding teammate Cadyn Grenier. There is a split between scouts if Madrigal can return to shortstop at the pro level, citing average arm strength. But there is no question that he plays an elite second base and many believe he has gold glove potential there.
While many fans have pointed out the White Sox already have a young and talented double play combo in Anderson (SS) and Moncada (2B), any front office in baseball would be thrilled with their 2018 draft pick forcing that issue.
…some feel he could handle shortstop if need be. If not, he has the chance to be a Gold Glove caliber second baseman in the future. -MLB Pipeline
Speaking of the White Sox young core, Madrigal’s potential ETA of late 2019 fits in nicely with the young players on the major league roster and the elite talent already populating the minor league system. Combined with his high makeup and polished overall game, it was too much for the White Sox to pass up.
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