The Chicago White Sox made the call today to call up their top prospect Nick Madrigal. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the 2018 first-round pick has been tearing up the minors since he’s started. He’s a well-rounded second baseman that will provide a much-needed spark after Chicago is off to a 2-4 start in the short 60-game season.
So what exactly is Chicago getting in Madrigal? As mentioned above, they are getting a well-rounded player. Leury Garcia has been the starting second baseman in Chicago. And while Garcia has been a quality player at the major league level, he’s off to a .182 start this season.
In his two seasons in the minors, Madrigal has hit .303/.353/.348 in 2018, and then last season he hit .311/.377/.414. So in just that short time in the minors, he showed his ability to hit for average, but also an increased amount of power, with a solid increase in his slugging percentage.
On top of those hitting numbers, Madrigal stole 35 bases in the 2019 season, spanning three different levels of the minor leagues.
While Madrigal did show the increase in his slugging percentage, he is still unlikely to ever be a big power hitter. His 5’8″ 175 LBS. stature will likely just not allow it. However, Chicago has a perfect candidate to eventually be a bit of a throwback leadoff hitter or someone who could slide into the second spot in the lineup or even the sixth. Either way, he will give the White Sox options going forward.
He’s just a professional hitter that barely strikes out and is going to be a frustrating batter for opposing pitchers to face.
For this season it’ll be very interesting to see where Rick Renteria slots him in because Tim Anderson has the leadoff spot on lockdown and Yoan Moncada has hit second in every game except one. The sixth spot is looking like it could be likely, but Renteria could decide to hit him ninth at the beginning almost like a second leadoff hitter. However the lineup looks, Renteria isn’t going to want to put Madrigal in a spot where he can’t use his speed.
That’s all the offense so what about the defense? Leury Garcia is not a bad defender by any means when playing in the infield. However, Madrigal won the MiLB Gold Glove last season.
As much as Madrigal will help the offense, this move is almost just as good for the team defense. The White Sox are already a top-12 defensive team in all of baseball at the moment, and now they are adding a top-level defender.
This will enable Garcia, who is a versatile player, the ability to stay in the lineup in some form and get his offense right while still being able to help the team.
By bringing Madrigal up this early in the season, the Chicago front office is showing that they think their record will turn around and they’ll be right in it for a playoff spot in the expanded playoffs, which was the expectation coming into the season.
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