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White Sox Promote 2018 1st Round Pick Nick Madrigal, DFA Kelvin Herrera

The only question regarding Nick Madrigal‘s pending promotion was when, not if, it would happen. With the shortened season, fans wondered whether or not he would break Summer Camp with the active roster or with the Schaumburg squad, keeping in mind that Madrigal only needed 7 days on the Schaumburg practice team for the White Sox to gain another year of control on his contract.

Madrigal will take over second base duties from Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick for the foreseeable future, as Garcia looks to hold down right field until Nomar Mazara returns, and Mendick will have a key role as a utility player off the bench.

Nick Madrigal fits into the ‘old-school contact hitter’ role and doesn’t have much pop in his bat. In 120 games across A+/AA/AAA, Madrigal hit .311/.377/.414 with 27 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 35 SB, 44 BB, and only 16 K’s in 532 plate appearances, which comes out to a staggering 3% K-rate. Madrigal’s ability to get on base outshines his power. His speed allows him to become a stolen base threat, and his elite defense could make him a Gold Glove contender every year. Madrigal makes line drive contact, but rarely gets the ball to the outfield wall. According to MLB Pipeline, Madrigal has 70-grade hit, 60-grade run, and 60-grade fielding.

Madrigal will start his first career game, batting 9th in the lineup on Friday night against the Kansas City Royals. Once Madrigal is established in the majors, he could find himself batting leadoff for this team for the foreseeable future.

With the addition of Madrigal, a corresponding move had to be made, which was designating RP Kelvin Herrera for assignment. Since being acquired by the White Sox in 2019, Herrera has been underwhelming in the bullpen. In his 2 seasons with Chicago, Herrera has put up a 6.54 ERA in 59 games, 39 ER, 4.94 FIP, and 1.621 WHIP. Although it was a surprise that a infielder wasn’t demoted for Madrigal, the White Sox had to limit Herrera’s appearances in 2020 to avoid a vesting option for 2021.

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