On Monday, a boyhood dream became a reality for Nick Madrigal.
The former Elk Grove High School grad and current junior at Oregon State was drafted number four overall in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago White Sox.
“It was a special moment for myself and my family and being able to celebrate with them and my teammates was the perfect moment,” Madrigal said.
“I have always worked hard for different things in life and this day was one of them that I have always worked hard for.”
At 5-7, the collegiate second baseman is described as an all-around prospect who some draft experts look at as the best hitter in this year’s draft as well as showing great plate discipline. Madrigal in his college career has drawn 53 walks compared to just striking out 34 times in 135 collegiate games. Madrigal also flashes an impressive glove with the ability to move from second base to shortstop if needed at the next level.
“I’m going to play my same aggressive style on the base pads as well as at the plate,” Madrigal said.
“I’m not sure what the White Sox have in mind for me position wise but I am willing to do whatever they ask of me to do because they drafted me for a reason.”
Since graduating in 2015, Madrigal has racked up the accolades at Oregon State. Madrigal was the Pac 12 Freshman of the Year in 2015 and the Pac 12 player of the year in 2017 among other awards and various all conference performances.
This season, Madrigal is batting .435 with 27 RBI through 26 games. Also, after rolling through regionals, Oregon State will host a super regional this weekend with a chance at going to the College World Series in Omaha Nebraska.
Balancing his future with the White Sox organization and his college teammates is something Madrigal thinks won’t be a problem.
“My focus right now is the postseason run with Oregon State,” Madrigal said.
“The White Sox organization have been completely supportive of me and told me to put this all on hold until after the season and to try and win a ring in college.”
Madrigal being a first round pick is not a surprise to Jeff Carlson. Carlson currently coaches Elk Grove’s baseball team and coached Madrigal through all four years at the varsity level at Elk Grove.
“I felt Nick was a first rounder right out of high school honestly,” Carlson said.
“As soon as you saw him step on the field he was a special dynamic player who just loved to play the game and always was working on his craft. I am really excited for him and can’t wait to see how he develops as a pro player.”
Being drafted fourth overall, Madrigal became the Sacramento area’s highest baseball draft prospect. Also, recently Elk Grove High School has had quite the success with developing baseball prospects.
In the last four years, Madrigal became the third Thundering Herd alum to be drafted in the first round of the MLB draft joining Derek Hill (No. 23 overall to the Detroit Tigers in 2014) and Dylan Carlson (No. 33 overall to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016). Also, former Sheldon High School two-sport stud Matt Manning was drafted No. 9 overall to the Detroit Tigers in 2016.
“This area is a hot bed for baseball talent and has been for a lot of years now,” Carlson said.
“The players are working hard and there is great competition between the schools, and players are getting noticed and drafted.”
Also, former Elk Grove High School alum J.D. Davis was a third-round pick in 2014 from CSU Fullerton and was recently called up to the Houston Astros to play third base after hitting .415 in AAA for the Fresno Grizzlies.
While battling his size could come as an issue, Madrigal likes the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
“I am going to play as hard as I can and play confident and just take things from there.”