HOUSTON -- Regardless of how great your summer has been, Nick Madrigal's almost certainly has been better.The talented middle infielder was drafted No. 4 overall by the White Sox in the 2018 MLB Draft and followed that up by helping Oregon State top Arkansas in the College World Series finals.
HOUSTON -- Regardless of how great your summer has been, Nick Madrigal's almost certainly has been better.
The talented middle infielder was drafted No. 4 overall by the White Sox in the 2018 MLB Draft and followed that up by helping Oregon State top Arkansas in the College World Series finals. On Thursday, his signing was announced by the White Sox for a slot value $6,411,400 bonus, and he began his professional career Thursday night with the organization's Arizona Rookie League team.
"Ever since the Draft, I tried to stay focused with our college season and let that play out first," Madrigal told reporters during a conference call. "I was excited just to put the White Sox logo on, get in uniform.
"I really don't need a whole lot of break. I've been playing all season long. I told them I only needed a couple of days to swing a wood bat, get used to it. I'm ready to go and just excited to move forward."
Madrigal, 21, batted .367/.428/.511 with eight doubles, six triples, three home runs, 34 RBIs, 41 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 42 games as a junior in 2018 for the Beavers. The 5-foot-7, 165-pound second baseman, who bats right-handed, will play a couple of games at shortstop in Arizona before moving to Class A Kannapolis.
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As for a future position for Madrigal -- on a team featuring Tim Anderson at shortstop and Yoan Moncada at second base -- he is open to anything.
"It really doesn't matter to me, and I really do mean that. I've played shortstop my whole life and I feel comfortable with it," Madrigal said. "Most of my college career I played second base. I feel like second is pretty easy to play, I feel comfortable there, too.
"At the end of the day, it's whatever the Chicago White Sox need me to do. I feel comfortable for both. I'll be ready for wherever they put me when the time comes."
The White Sox have agreed to terms with 34 of their 40 selections from the 2018 Draft, including all of their top 30 picks. They announced Thursday the signing of right-handed pitchers Davis Martin (14th round) from Texas Tech and Jason Morgan (35th round) from North Carolina, and third baseman Bryce Bush (35th round) from De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, Mich.
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Both Morgan and Bush could end up as major Draft values in regard to their high talent level. But Thursday's focus fell upon Madrigal, a player with the potential to become a starting second baseman or shortstop at the end of the White Sox rebuild.
"Normally, our goal is to assimilate players as quickly as possible into our system, but in this case, we are very happy for Nick and the Beavers that any delay was because of winning a national championship," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in the statement to announce the Madrigal signing. "Nick is a talented young player in many aspects of the game, and we look forward to adding his skills, drive and leadership to our organization as he joins a developing core of talented young prospects."
"I'm going to go out there and just play as hard as I can and play my game," Madrigal said. "As far as the plan of moving up, that's in their hands. I'm going to do everything I can to be ready for when they need me. When they move me up or anything like that, it's kind of out of my control at this point. I just want to go out there and play my game."
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.