Chicago White Sox: Nick Madrigal struggling early on

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

Nick Madrigal has struggled early on to convince the Chicago White Sox to put him on the Opening Day roster.

The Chicago White Sox have their second baseman of the future in Nick Madrigal, but whether the future will start now or not remains to be seen.

Early on in spring training, Madrigal has struggled mightily, as he has a .375 OPS with no extra-base hits over his first 16 at-bats.

It is only March 2 so there is obviously a lot of time for the right-handed hitter to start producing before it is too late, but the bad start doesn’t bode well for his chances of making the team.

While the White Sox have proven to be one of the more innovative teams when it comes to service-time manipulation, as can be seen by their extensions given to Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, there is some reason to believe that the team could take advantage of the ability to gain an extra year of team control with Madrigal.

That would only require the White Sox to keep him in Triple-A Charlotte until mid-April.

Considering he only played in 29 games with Triple-A in 2019, it is certainly arguable that he could use some more seasoning in the minors, regardless of his spring training performance.

However, it would be much tougher to argue against having him on the team if he impresses in a spring training and extension talks for him would have to become a serious consideration. Samiya Green thinks it should be either way.

Madrigal, 22, is the 40th best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, but was notably omitted from Keith Law’s top 100 prospects list on The Athletic.

While his .311/.377/.414 slash line with 35 stolen bases across three levels in 2019 was very impressive, there is one area that he appears to be lacking in.

His power numbers are extremely low as he hit four homers last season and had none over 43 games in 2018, which was his professional debut season.

The lack of power won’t be a major issue going forward if he can have a similar slash line at the major league level. So far, though, he simply hasn’t proven that would be the case in spring training.

It is hard to envision Madrigal starting the year with the team in 2020 even if most Chicago White Sox fans would love to see it.

Unless if he impresses the team significantly over the next few weeks before Opening Day, it appears likely that he will lose the second base competition to either Leury Garcia or Danny Mendick.

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Madrigal hasn’t impressed early on which increases the likelihood that his South Side debut will have to wait a little longer.