White Sox: Nick Madrigal’s player grade reflects great first year

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

The Chicago White Sox have a great young player in Nick Madrigal.

A lot of people were confused when the Chicago White Sox drafted Nick Madrigal with the 4th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Prospects Draft out of Oregon State University. He was a contact-hitting second-baseman that has a great glove in the field. It was a little strange because, at the time, Yoan Moncada was the second baseman of the future. Madrigal seemed to be a trade asset in case they needed to add something later.

Well, since then, Moncada made the move to third base and became an elite third baseman. That left room at second base for someone to come in and take. The White Sox used Leury Garcia to start the season at second because they wanted to manipulate Madrigal’s service time. Well, he did eventually get the call-up and it now appears to be a great draft pick that they made.

He made his MLB debut on July 31st, about a week after the 60 game season started. He didn’t record a hit in his first two games (both against the Kansas City Royals) but that is to be expected for most guys. He did, however, have a remarkable four-hit game in his third MLB game and took off from there.

Following the four-hit game, he only had six games the rest of the season where he didn’t have a single hit. His batting average landed at a remarkable .340 in 103 at-bats as a result. His contact ability is just so great and it should be an asset for many years to come. He didn’t hit a single home run but he did manage to have 11 RBIs which translates to 66 over a full 162 game schedule. Not too bad for a rookie that mostly hit in the nine-spot.

Madrigal is proving to be a very unique player. He had a remarkable batting average of .340 but his final slash line was only .340/.376/.369. His OPS for the season was only .745 but you have to think some of those other stats will improve over the years as he develops further. The power is probably never going to be great but the kid can make contact.

Final Grade: A-

Nick Madrigal did everything to his strength at an above-average level in 2020. He has a great defensive glove and can hit singles regularly. His batting average was awesome and he did everything he was advertised to do but better. He deserves this grade but it is an A- because of the fact that his offense was a bit one-dimensional.

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2021 outlook

Madrigal appears to be one of the most important players in the organization at this point. He has everything he needs to be a great nine-hitter. It would be nice to see him get that grade to an A instead of an A- by being a little bit more multi-dimensional offensively. He has Gold Glove potential in the infield and is a base hit wizard. With guys like Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Yoan Moncada hitting behind him in any order, that ability to crack singles should come in very handy late in ballgames.