Photo Credit: Scobel Wiggins
Every year it seems we get a top-of-the-draft, college middle infielder and this year is no exception, with Oregon State University second baseman, Nick Madrigal. The Cleveland Indians drafted him out of Elk Grove High School in the seventeenth round of the 2015 MLB draft, but forewent that to play college ball 533 miles away from home. His first season, he was the freshman of the year in the PAC 12, joining fellow Beaver Michael Conforto, slashing .333/.380/.456, walking fifteen times and only striking out fourteen times in 224 plate appearances. This past year was better for him, as he was a near lock to play for OSU, and he shined, winning a Gold Glove and continuing his great approach he had as a freshman. Next season could very well be the year of Oregon State, as they were a dominant team in 2017, finishing the year as a final eight team. Madrigal will be an integral part offensively and defensively and the end of the 2018 season could cause him to become a millionaire and a future big leaguer.
Nick Madrigal has all the skills required to become an integral part of whatever team he plays for, where he profiles to be a leadoff hitter. Throughout his college career, he has showcased the ability to draw a walk, drawing twenty-seven walks this year while only striking out only sixteen times, and during his career at Oregon State, he has a 0.71 K/BB. Adding to his offensive value, Madrigal was graded out as a 60 grade runner back when he was the 197th ranked draft prospect by MLB.com back in 2015, and some believe he has gotten faster since then, as he’s stole sixteen bases this past season. He showcases a swing more geared towards contact and that will allow him to develop into a batting average asset for whatever team drafts him high.
The Oregon State Beaver also profiles to develop as a plus defender during his big league career as a second basemen. This past year he received the College Gold Glove at second base from the American Baseball Coaches Association, thanks to his .979 fielding percentage this year. The future middle infielder can play shortstop, and could be a Gold Glover in the Majors at second base.
This might be nitpicking, but Madrigal is pretty small and doesn’t have the frame to pack on more weight. He isn’t a power threat at the moment, as he stands at 5’7 and weighs in at 161 pounds, but that isn’t a significant part of his game. Scouts will always question what his power output will be in the pro ranks, he could get fifteen home runs during his peak years but that will just be a bonus for him. If he adds weight wisely, he could improve his power output in the pro ranks, but he might lose potentially 70 grade speed.
Pro Comp: Ian Kinsler
Both Players are leadoff hitters that play gold glove defense at second base. Kinsler is not a hall of famer but anyone would love to have a career like his as he plays everyday, leads off and gets on base. If Madrigal can have a career like Kinsler, he would be very happy, and so would his bank account.