Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

No. 4 prospect Madrigal makes Majors debut

@scottmerkin
August 1, 2020

Nick Madrigal made his Major League debut for the White Sox on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, playing second, finishing 0-for-3 and hitting out of the ninth spot during Chicago's 3-2 victory over the Royals. Madrigal said the pregame jitters disappeared as soon as he got on the field. But

Nick Madrigal made his Major League debut for the White Sox on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, playing second, finishing 0-for-3 and hitting out of the ninth spot during Chicago's 3-2 victory over the Royals. Madrigal said the pregame jitters disappeared as soon as he got on the field.

But if the No. 4 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, had his way, he would have broken camp with the team on July 24. In fact, when manager Rick Renteria told Madrigal he would be starting at the team’s Schaumburg, Ill., alternative training site, Madrigal didn’t shake hands with Renteria, and it had nothing to do with social distancing. He simply turned around and walked out.

Renteria smiled when recounting that story Friday, chalking it up to the competitive edge Madrigal brings to the White Sox. And Madrigal quickly put behind him the ire of not being part of the roster from the outset.

“Honestly, I was disappointed,” Madrigal said. “I really felt like I could help the team win from the beginning, and that was one of my goals, to try to be there from the first game.

“It just didn’t work out. So, when I went to Schaumburg, I wasn’t down at all. That night they told me I was going down, I was a little mad, but the very next day, I kind of locked back in. It’s not my style to pout and be angry. I really just tried to stay focused. I was hoping the time would come soon. I feel good at this point.”

White Sox fans have been anxiously waiting for Madrigal’s big league arrival, with the second baseman even trending on Twitter after an Opening Day loss to the Twins. Madrigal’s contract was purchased Friday from Schaumburg, and right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera was designated for assignment to keep the 40-man roster at 40.

At 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Madrigal is known for his elite defense and bat-to-ball skills. He struck out just 16 times in 532 plate appearances during the 2019 season, fanning more than once in a game just twice in 120 contests. Madrigal slashed .311/.377/.414 with 27 doubles, five triples, four home runs, 55 RBIs, 76 runs scored, 44 walks and 35 stolen bases over 120 games between Class A Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte in ‘19.

Madrigal won the Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award at second base, was named the best defensive second baseman in the Southern League, earned Carolina League midseason All-Star honors and played for the U.S. Team at the All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland last season. He was also named Chicago’s Minor League co-Player of the Month for June.

The No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Oregon State University will wear jersey No. 1. Madrigal is fulfilling a dream he thought about since the ripe old age of 5.

“I imagined this moment for a long time,” Madrigal said. “It looks a little bit different with the stadiums empty, but it’s still a dream come true, and something I’ve worked extremely hard at for a long time.”

Herrera, 30, made two appearances with the White Sox this season, allowing four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. It marked the start of his second season with the club after signing a two-year, $18 million deal as a free agent. Herrera had a 6.59 ERA over 59 games with the White Sox.

White Sox closely following protocols
The White Sox next road stop on Monday and Tuesday takes them to Milwaukee, where the Cardinals are scheduled to play this weekend. Teams are well aware of the two positive COVID-19 tests within St. Louis' club, and are doing all they can to avoid any issues of their own.

“We are sticking to the lines,” Gio González said. “We're not shying away. It is work, but if you want to continue to play, you have to follow the rules. We have no excuses.”

“We're going to try to be as conscientious as possible to avoid contact,” Renteria said. “We talked about not high-fiving, and no knuckles. It's just the way it's got to be.”

Mazara getting close
Nomar Mazara, who remains on the 10-day injured list for an unspecified reason, is close to making his White Sox debut.

“He's doing very well. I was in contact with him today,” Renteria said. “He's feeling good. I can't lock in a date for you, but he’s very close. And for all intents in the conversation and texting that we've had, he's feeling good.”

Renteria wouldn’t rule out a return from Schaumburg this weekend in Kansas City.

“I don't want to discount it,” Renteria said. “But I can't give you a hard date.”

He said it
“A lot of those guys were probably in my situation at some point, just now getting into an organization and not really knowing anybody. So, they've done a really good job of making sure, if I forget somebody's name, then I can just ask them and not really worry about having to be embarrassed or anything like that.” -- Garrett Crochet, the White Sox top pick in the 2020 Draft, on bonding with teammates in Schaumburg

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.