Former Elk Grove High School baseball player Nick Madrigal has had an eventful last 14 months to say the least.
Last June, Madrigal was drafted fourth overall in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox. Just weeks after having had his name called among the top of the draft board, the second baseman helped Oregon State come from behind against Arkansas to win the collegiate national championship two games to one in a best of three series before heading off to the White Sox farm system.
As if those historical landmarks were not enough, Madrigal has added a few more to the list. Being drafted early on, the White Sox had high hopes Madrigal could turn into a starting infielder and someone whom could hit near the top of the order when the time comes.
That time might be coming sooner rather than later.
In a span of just 91 games between A and AA this season, Madrigal showed the White Sox organization enough to be called up to Chicago’s AAA affiliate the Charlotte Knights on July 31.
“There have been a ton of different events and I have been able to accomplish some of my goals with the draft and winning a national championship and now jumping into professional baseball,” Madrigal said.
“I am very thankful for every opportunity and being in Birmingham and Winston-Salem and now Charlotte.”
Most prospects usually spend at least one full season at each level as they develop their skills and get ready for “the show”. Although, Madrigal has been one of the exceptions.
“I was told after one of the games with the Barons that I was moving up and I was really excited to make it to the AAA level,” Madrigal said.
The 43rd-ranked prospect in baseball according to MLB.com needed only 49 games with the Winston-Salem Dash (A) to show he was ready for the next level. With the Dash, Madrigal hit .272 with 27 RBI and stole 17 bases.
Upon being called up to Chicago’s AA affiliate the Birmingham Barons on June 6, Madrigal instantly proved he was ready for the next step.
Madrigal hit an impressive .341 with 16 RBI in 42 games.
“I felt really good and prepared coming into the season which I did not last season,” Madrigal said.
“I started the season a little slow but I was not worried and my body feels better this season and I kept working hard.”
Through nine games with the Knights, Madrigal is hitting .243 with four RBI in the International League. Although Madrigal may have gotten off to a slow start, he has drawn five walks and continues to show his unbelievable plate discipline. In his entire minor-league career, Madrigal has drawn 43 walks while only striking out 16 times in 547 plate appearances.
“I really feel like I have made some adjustments to make contact on pitches and hit pitches harder in the zone,” Madrigal said of his vision and discipline.
“It is something I have worked on and I try to drive more pitches and keep a solid approach with two strikes.”
Now knocking on the door, Madrigal knows he needs to continue to impress if he is to get called up to the White Sox main roster and fulfill a life-long dream of playing in the major leagues.
“That next call would be awesome and something I have looked forward to my entire life,” Madrigal said.
“Hopefully in the near future the plan out there for me is to become a major leaguer and I’m excited.”
Although being a member of the White Sox roster is not going to be a guaranteed thing. Madrigal knows he needs to continue to work hard and improve on things at the minor-league level.
“At each level you have to find your own routine and stick to it since baseball is an everyday thing,” Madrigal said.
“I feel like I have a good grasp on that which I did not have enough to develop last year.”