Fresh into the new year, the Chicago White Sox signed top prospect Luis Robert to a six-year $50 million extension. His extension means he’s likely to be in the starting lineup for Opening Day. With their potential star outfielder taken care of, second basemen Nick Madrigal should be the next prospect signed before his major league debut.
Last year, Madrigal’s slash line was .311/.377/.414 with only 16 strikeouts in 120 games. His patience at the plate led him to be very productive.
Per Fangraphs, Madrigal had a stellar 2.8 strikeout rate which was the best amongst his peers. When he was promoted to Triple-A, his strikeout rate was a solid 3.7. While that is a major aspect of his game, another one of his strengths is being a hitter with near-perfect contact when hitting pitches.
With that being said, Madrigal’s hitting skills would be a true factor in the Opening Day lineup, because he can consistently drive in runs. In Triple-A, he had a .873 OPS with runners in scoring position, which would provide the Chicago White Sox with a dependable hitter.
Along with the outstanding production that Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada already bring to the lineup, the Chicago White Sox now have also added some power bats as well, so adding Madrigal would be a perfect balance.
In the fielding aspect, Madrigal has shown he can be a good defender. Last year, he had 184 putouts, 95 double plays, and a .992 fielding percentage. His strong defensive play is another major upside to his value as a major league ballplayer and he can surely thrive at second base in the majors, but if the Chicago White Sox might decide to not bring him up just yet.
There is another option for the second base position. Last season, Danny Mendick made his major league debut and he did not disappoint. In 16 games he hit .308/.325/.462 and launched a couple of homers. He showed that he could be the guy who plays second base, but his minor league numbers fall short in comparison to Madrigal.
In Triple-A, his slash line was .279/.368/.444 and 90 strikeouts in 133 games. The difference between their stats shows that they have different approaches at the plate. Mendick is more of a power hitter, which makes him more prone to strikeouts. He hit 17 home runs when he was in Triple-A.
This offseason has been amazing for The Chicago White Sox and it is giving fans something to look forward to. Recently, signing Robert has only added to their excitement and there are still moves that could be made. The move that really still has to be made is getting a reliever. Along with that, the team should sign Madrigal before Opening Day.