It definitely feels nice to have a few days off after the end of Class A Advanced Winston-Salem's season. I'm hanging out in my parents' home in Elk Grove, Calif. Next week, I report to Arizona for the White Sox fall instructional league for a month. After that, my real
It definitely feels nice to have a few days off after the end of Class A Advanced Winston-Salem's season. I'm hanging out in my parents' home in Elk Grove, Calif. Next week, I report to Arizona for the White Sox fall instructional league for a month. After that, my real break will happen. So I'm still not through yet.
It's been quite a summer. I was part of an Oregon State team that won the 2018 College World Series. I got drafted by the White Sox, and then I played for three different teams in the system. It's been a lot, but it's all been great.
At Oregon State, my goal from the first day I stepped on campus was to win a national championship. It felt really good to do it with that group of guys. I have some friendships on that team that will stick with me forever.
The Major League Draft occurred during the NCAA playoffs. The whole Draft process is such an unknown. I didn't know the White Sox were taking me until about five minutes before the pick came in. I feel like the Sox are the perfect fit. My mom's always said, "You want to go some place where you're wanted." It definitely seemed like the White Sox wanted me the most.
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It's really exciting to be in the organization at this time and to hopefully be part of bringing back the winning culture. I've always enjoyed being on the underdog team rather than the favorite team. If I was playing three on two in basketball, I'd rather be on the team with two guys. I've always loved that challenge in my life.
I had an idea that I would finish the year at high-A in Winston-Salem, but I wasn't sure when that would happen. It was different going from clubhouse to clubhouse and not knowing anyone. That was a little tough at first. But baseball is one of those games where you can relate to anyone, whether they speak English, Spanish or whatever. It's kind of crazy how you can relate to people through a game. I've witnessed how small the baseball world is.
As far as the competition, it really is the same game at every level. Some guys might throw harder; have a better curveball. I feel confident in my game. If someone is throwing harder, I just think about starting to swing a little bit earlier. I don't have to change my swing. The adjustment really hasn't been bad at all. I've enjoyed it.
Baseball is a game of adjustments. You learn as you go. I still have a lot to learn. Performance-wise, I felt comfortable at each level. I know there is a lot of room for improvement, but I'm happy with the way I played.
I'm looking forward to going to Arizona. I'm going to be open-minded about learning new things about the game. It's really hands on down there. I'll be excited to learn from different coaches.
After I get back from Arizona, I am going to start getting ready for next year. The weight room is going to be huge for me. I want to try to get faster.
I've never felt overmatched in baseball. With all the preparation I do during the offseason, when I step on the field, there's not a doubt in my mind about my belief in my abilities.
As told to Ed Sherman
Nick Madrigal is a second baseman in the White Sox organization.