This is quite a wild pick, given that Osaka-born Nishida has had a short career in the U.S., culminating in one year of NCAA Division I ball, with the Ducks. He’s a burner, with 25 steals in 33 attempts, but also a bit of an on-base machine, slashing .312/.395./.443. And pay attention to that last number, because for a diminutive player (5´6´´, 150), Nishida has some adequate pop, with five homers in 63 games.
Nishida’s selection follows a bit of a theme we haven’t always seen from the White Sox in past drafts, targeting on-base guys with good BB/K ratios — in Nishida’s case, a ratio of better than one (at Oregon, 27 BBs and 26 Ks, numbers that are reflected in his summer-league play as well).
The Chicago White Sox (11th round) selected 2B/OF Rikuu Nishida. Maybe the most fun player to watch in all of college baseball. After an All-Star summer on the Cape, he hit .312 (with wood) this spring with 25 SB. Elite bat-to-ball skills, plus runner. pic.twitter.com/LKeCHPArEY— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) July 11, 2023
With the 329th pick in the MLB draft, the Chicago White Sox have selected @OregonBaseball 2B/RF Rikuu Nishida.— Mojo Hill (@mojohill22) July 11, 2023
The 5-foot-6 Japan native hit .312/.395/.443 for the Ducks this year. He gets on base a lot and walks more than he strikes out.pic.twitter.com/NGUNqgtkPa
One caveat: Nishida has NCAA eligibility left, so the White Sox will have to lure him away from his senior year at Oregon. Presumably they have a sense that a slot or slight slot-plus bonus will get him in the fold.
Rob Moseley has a good profile at GoDucks on our heir apparent to Nick Madrigal.
2023 Chicago White Sox Draft Picks
First Round (No. 15 overall) Jacob González, SS (ranked No. 18 on MLB Pipeline)
Second Round (No. 51 overall) Grant Taylor, RHSP (ranked No. 102 on MLB Pipeline)
Third Round (No. 84 overall) Seth Keener, RHP (ranked No. 108 on MLB Pipeline)
Fourth Round (No. 116 overall) Calvin Harris, C (ranked No. 133 on MLB Pipeline)
Fifth Round (No. 152 overall) Christian Oppor, LHSP (ranked No. 225 on MLB Pipeline)
Sixth Round (No. 179 overall) Lucas Gordon, LHSP (not ranked)
Seventh Round (No. 209 overall) George Wolkow, OF (ranked No. 71 on MLB Pipeline)
Eighth Round (No. 239 overall) Eddie Park, CF (not ranked)
Ninth Round (No. 269 overall) Jake Peppers, RHP (ranked No. 187 on MLB Pipeline)
10th Round (No. 299 overall) Zach Franklin, RHP (not ranked)
11th Round (No. 329 overall) Rikuu Nishida, 2B (not ranked)