The Chicago White Sox have selected shortstop Nick Madrigal from Oregon State with the fourth overall selection in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.
Madrigal, who is 5-foot-7, is seen as one of the best hitting prospects in this year’s draft as he posted a .406 batting average and drove in 32 RBIs in just 32 games with the Beavers this season. As a junior this year, he was a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes Award which is awarded to the best amateur player in the United States each year.
The 21-year-old plays for an Oregon State baseball team that is currently in contention for this year’s College World Series. In February, he broke his wrist, but has recovered and is apart of the team playing on in their super regionals. In his three seasons, Madrigal has had both his batting average and on base percentage improve each year.
This year alone, he posted a .479 on-base percentage.
The selection of Madrigal marks the third consecutive year in which the White Sox used their first selection on a proven college hitter. Since 2016, the team has drafted Zack Collins, Jake Burger, and now Madrigal all of whom have two or more years of college experience and of which were viewed as the best hitters on their teams. The target for hitting comes after years in which the White Sox focused heavily or starting pitching or position players who provided high athletic upside, but were not proven at the plate yet.
One question in regards to the choice is where Madrigal will play on the field as he can play both shortstop and second base. The White Sox have both Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson firmly entrenched at those positions so it will be something to keep an eye once he reports to the minors. Due to his size and hitting ability, he has been compared to a pair of American League MVP winners in second basemen Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia.
Monday night’s selection was important because Madrigal will now be seen as an important piece added to the White Sox rebuild. Along with Burger, he now makes up the team’s first-round selections since the team began rebuilding back in the offseason following the 2016 season. It is imperative for the White Sox to have success with their first round picks because previous World Series winners have relied heavily on the success of their drafts.