On Saturday the White Sox officially set a new worst start in franchise history after falling to the Cubs for the second time in a row. While there are much better times ahead, fans are understandably annoyed with the start that the South Siders have gotten off to. Many have instead turned their attention to the 2018 draft. The White Sox have the 4th overall pick and should have plenty of names to choose from that will further aid the rebuilding club.
Our first player profile is that of Oregon State’s Nick Madrigal. Madrigal is widely considered the most polished hitter in this year’s draft class and a lot of mocks don’t have him falling past no. 3 overall. If he does, the White Sox would have a hard time passing up on him.
Madrigal is just a few weeks into his season as he was recovering from a broken wrist, but he is tearing the cover off the ball in that limited action. In 78 plate appearances, he is hitting to the tune of a .449 average. He hit .333 his freshman year, and .380 as a sophomore, so his track record at the college level is more than proven. He pairs his elite bat with elite plate discipline, as he has more walks in his college career (48) than strikeouts (32).
In the field, Madrigal spends the majority of his time at second base, but has played some short stop as well. I know, I know, we already have Moncada and Anderson manning those 2 spots for the foreseeable future. But teams that draft well typically do so by taking the best player available. Madrigal would be that at no. 4. Scouts have said that he has gold glove potential at second base as well.
On the bases, Madrigal is a burner with his speed graded out at 60 on the 20-80 scale. And that might still be selling him short. He pairs his speed with great instincts, which should translate to him being a big time base-stealing threat.
On the negative side of things, Madrigal will most likely never be a true home run threat. However, he will have no trouble collecting extra base hits due to his line-drive approach at the plate and his speed. He is also listed at just 5’7″ so his durability could be a question mark for some teams as well.
At the end of the day, Nick Madrigal is a ballplayer. Arguably the best college bat in the draft, elite speed, and some versatility in the field makes him a hell of a pick for any team. If it helps, scouts expect him to fly through minor league systems, so a 2020 call up wouldn’t be out of the question. At worst, the White Sox draft Madrigal and use him as a blue chip piece in a future trade to bring back a proven star.