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2018 MLB Draft Profile: Nick Madrigal

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Welcome back to the first of our 2018 draft profiles!

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-LSU vs Oregon State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Nick Madrigal?

A former 17th round pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 2015 draft, Madrigal decided to honor his commitment to Oregon State and has been their starting second baseman the past three seasons. Over that time at Oregon State, he’s hit an impressive .373/.429/.512. In limited time this season due to a broken wrist, he’s taken that up a notch, to .449/.488/.590 with two homers and two strikeouts in 86 plate appearances.

How does Madrigal rank?

MLBPipeline: 3rd

Perfect Game: 7th

Fangraphs: 2nd

Sporting News Mock Draft: 4th (hey!)

What is Madrigal’s game?

Here’s his scouting grades over at MLB Pipeline: Hit: 65 | Power: 40 | Run: 60 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55

John Sickels notes that speed is Madrigal’s best tool, with scores going from 60 to 70. Regardless, his speed combined with instincts and baseball smarts indicate that Madrigal will be an excellent baserunner.

Obviously, the 65 hit score stands out, but so does the 40 power. Madrigal is five-foot-eight and 160 pounds. He obviously can hit the ball, but clearing the fences isn’t his thing.

What does Madrigal look like?

Why would the White Sox draft him?

After the first few rounds in previous drafts, Nick Hostetler’s stated strategy has been to go for pure hitters and let the rest of it work its way out. Madrigal is easily the best pure hitter in the draft. Add in speed, baserunning, and defense, and you’ve got a college athlete that will be ready to contribute when the White Sox will be ready to compete.

Why wouldn’t the White Sox draft him?

At five-foot-eight (maybe), power is never going to be a big part of his game. Madrigal has also missed a significant portion of this season to a broken wrist. Finally, while Madrigal probably can play shortstop, his size points to second base as his future home. Teams usually shy away from spending a high draft pick on second baseman.