Hometown Report

Why Elk Grove’s Nick Madrigal continues to soar in White Sox’s minor-league system

Elk Grove High product Nick Madrigal, drafted No. 4 out of Oregon State in June, has yet to strike out in the Chicago White Sox’s minor league system.
Elk Grove High product Nick Madrigal, drafted No. 4 out of Oregon State in June, has yet to strike out in the Chicago White Sox’s minor league system. Courtesy, Oregon State Athletics

He has not struck out as a professional, and he has a vacuum of a glove. It’s no wonder Nick Madrigal is climbing up the ranks with the Chicago White Sox.

A graduate of Elk Grove High School and a three-year standout infielder and captain at Oregon State, Madrigal was selected fourth overall in June draft. His ability to make contact and make plays at second base has him on the fast track to the bigs.

On Thursday, the White Sox promoted Madrigal from Class A Kannapolis to Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem.It is the third promotion this summer for Madrigal, who the White Sox are reportedly targeting for a jump to the majors within the next two years.

He started his professional career in the Arizona League shortly after helping Oregon State win the College World Series championship.

That the 5-foot-7 Madrigal doesn’t strike out speaks of his patience at the plate. That has long been a strength. In 17 minor league games and 57 at-bats, Madrigal has not seen a third strike. He hit .341 in 12 games for Kannapolis.

“It’s something you recognize the more you see him,” White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams told The Athletic. “You hear about the bat-to-ball skills, but it’s another thing to witness for yourself. It’s not just about him making contact, it’s hard contact. You hear that and think he’s just pecking away, but he’s trying to do some damage.”

Madrigal has often said the most humbling thing to do in this sport is to strike out, especially without swinging. So he rarely has. Madrigal struck out twice in 32 games and 109 at-bats as a senior at Elk Grove High in 2015 when he and twin brother Ty were The Bee’s co-Players of the Year for the top team in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Over his four-year career with the Thundering Herd, Madrigal struck out just 18 times in 127 games and 418 at-bats. At Oregon State, he struck out 37 times in 151 games and 612 at-bats, including just seven times this spring in 180 at-bats.

Madrigal has always credited his father, Mike, and twin brother for helping him feel the game, along with hours of batting practice.

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