White Sox: Nick Madrigal’s Adjustment to Double-A Competition

(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
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After earning his third promotion in less than two years, Nick Madrigal has made another step towards the South Side of Chicago. But can he play up to the same contention against tougher competition?

Taken 4th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft, infielder Nick Madrigal has proved his worth in the White Sox organization.

Madrigal began his 2018 with the White Sox Arizona Rookie League, but after five games was promoted to Single-A Kannapolis. There, he hit a stellar .341. But what is more impressive was in 49 at bats he did not strike out once. He ended his 2018 hitting .306 with a .355 on-base percentage after 26 games with Single-A Winston-Salem.

After his impressive first year in the minors, many knew he would fly his way straight to the south side.

After playing his first 49 games of 2019 with the Winston-Salem Dash, Madrigal was promoted to Double-A Birmingham.

At first, it seemed a bit rushed. Madrigal was still playing at a high level, just not the level he was the previous year. Through the first 49 games with the Dash, he was hitting only .272. Not a bad average, but compared to .306, not great either.

But it is easy to look past his batting average and admire his domination in other statistics. His impressive .346 on-base percentage. He only struck out six times. He stole 17 bases and walked 17 times. he drove in 27 runs. He hit 10 doubles and two triples.

With 72 total bases in 49 games, it was time to take that next step towards the south side.

Personally, it was exciting to get the notification that Madrigal had been called up to Double-A. Madrigal is an asset who can handle tough pitchers along with an above-average glove. I was hesitant, however. The batting average took me back. But after his first three games, I regret the slightest feeling I had thinking he was not ready.

In his first game, he went 3 for 4 with a run scored and two stolen bases. In his second game, he went 3 for 4 again with his first double and RBI at the level. In his third game, he went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.

With this promotion so early in the season, there is a possibility for Madrigal to end his season with Triple-A Charlotte. Earning three promotions in a year and a half, it is not unlikely he earns another before 2020.

Madrigal’s ability to be patient and draw walks rather than swing and strikeout is an ability desired for the White Sox. Mixed with his speed and his plus-ability to field at second base, it will not be long before we see the former College World Series champ turning a double play with Tim Anderson.