ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting that the Chicago White Sox are calling up prospect Nick Madrigal before the start of a three-game series in Kansas City against the Royals. Madrigal is regarded as the best contact hitting prospect in the White Sox organization and will start at second base going forward. Chicago drafted the former Oregon State standout fourth overall back in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Madrigal’s hitting ability and his talent to make contact has made him one of the more intriguing prospects in all of baseball. In 120 minor league games with the White Sox organization, the second baseman struck out only 16 times in 473 at-bats. Madrigal batted .311 last season and drew 44 walks pushing his on-base percentage to .377. Although initially a shortstop with Oregon State and drafted at the same position, he will be Chicago’s starting second baseman moving forward for the next few years.
Although Madrigal’s bat is his prime strength, when he joins the White Sox in Kansas City on Friday, he will be more valuable to the team from a defensive standpoint. The 39th overall prospect on MLB’s Top 100 Prospects list will replace second baseman Leury Garcia, who has struggled defensively to start the season. Garcia, who spent the entire 2019 season as Chicago’s starting center fielder, is expected to be moved to right-field until Nomar Marzara returns from the injured list.
To make room for Madrigal on the roster, the White Sox designated relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera for assignment. Herrera signed with Chicago last season, he was expected to solidify the backend of the bullpen with closer Alex Colome but struggled as he posted a 6.14 ERA in 53 appearances. This season the former All-Star reliever continued to struggle as he allowed four runs over two and a thirds innings. Madrigal should in the lineup for Friday night’s game against the Royals with a good chance of him batting ninth in the batting order.