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Madrigal collects first four big league hits

Fourth-ranked White Sox prospect ends drought, scores twice
Nick Madrigal won a Minor League Gold Glove last season with Triple-A Charlotte. (Charlie Riedel/AP)
August 2, 2020

On Saturday night, it was top White Sox prospect Luis Robert shining with four hits out of the leadoff spot. Less than 24 hours later, another Top 100 prospect did it from the bottom of the lineup. After going 0-for-8 in his first two games since being called up from

On Saturday night, it was top White Sox prospect Luis Robert shining with four hits out of the leadoff spot. Less than 24 hours later, another Top 100 prospect did it from the bottom of the lineup.

After going 0-for-8 in his first two games since being called up from the team's alternate training site, Nick Madrigal punched a single through the right side in the third inning for his first Major League hit and added three more knocks as the White Sox beat the Royals, 9-2, to complete a three-game sweep in Kansas City.

MLB Pipeline's No. 39 overall prospect wasn’t with the big club when the season opened late last month, but he didn’t stay at the alternate site in suburban Schaumburg very long. Coming off his first full season in the Minor Leagues last year, the 23-year-old debuted Friday but hadn't cracked the hit column. That changed in a big way on Sunday.

"I felt like I was seeing the ball pretty well, I just had nothing to show for it," Madrigal told reporters via video conference after the game. "Everyone knows you haven't got a hit yet and they kind of joke with you. The pressure builds up. Once I saw that first one fall in I felt like a weight was lifted of me. It was a huge sigh of relief once I got that first one."

After his single in the third, the fourth-ranked White Sox prospect added another one to center field in the fifth and delivered his last two singles during a seven-run seventh. He was robbed of a fifth hit on a nifty defensive play by Royals first baseman Salvador Perez in the ninth.

"I think he was a little calmer. I think after he got the first hit he was much more relaxed," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "When you get to the big leagues, one of things you want to do is get that [first hit] out of the way. Everybody was extremely ecstatic for him. It loosened him up and he'll continue to do it the rest of the way."

Last season, the Oregon State product showed off all the skills that have excited fans on the South Side since he was drafted fourth overall in 2018. In 120 games across Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, the contact master batted .311/.377/.414 with 44 walks and only 16 strikeouts. He also flashed his 60-grade defense, winning a Minor League Gold Glove at second base.

"Once I went down to Schaumburg, I stayed positive," Madrigal said of his time at the alternate training site. "I knew my time would come; I followed the team really closely. I watched every single pitch of every game and was hoping [the promotion] would be soon. I understand there's a plan for everything."

Robert, baseball’s No. 3 overall prospect, continued his torrid start. After striking out twice, he walked in the fifth inning and singled to left in the seventh.

In other action:

Braves 4, Mets 0

Despite receiving no help from a struggling offense and shaky defense, David Peterson turned in another solid outing in his second Major League start. After winning his debut against the Red Sox on Tuesday, the No. 10 Mets prospect allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with a career-high eight strikeouts over six innings. Peterson (1-1) yielded a pair of runs in the third on a four-pitch walk to Ronald Acuña Jr. and a groundout by Freddie Freeman. Johan Camargo led off the fourth with a solo homer, but the 24-year-old retired the last eight batters he faced. Braves No. 4 prospect Kyle Wright lasted 3 1/3 innings and scattered five hits and four walks with five strikeouts. Box score

A's 3, Mariners 2

Kyle Lewis blasted a 420-foot solo homer in his last at-bat to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. The 10th-ranked Mariners prospect is the only American Leaguer who has hit safely in each game this season and is batting .425/.477/.650. His 17 hits lead the Majors and are tied for the most by a Mariner through 10 games since Endy Chavez in 2009. Evan White went 0-for-3, but Seattle’s No. 4 prospect drew a four-pitch walk leading off the seventh and has reached base in nine of the club’s 10 contests. No. 33 overall prospect Sean Murphy entered as a defensive replacement for the A’s in the ninth. Box score

Reds 4, Tigers 3 (1st game); Reds 4, Tigers 0 (2nd game)

Rony Garcia turned in a near carbon copy of his first Major League start for Detroit. The 25th-ranked Tigers prospect lasted two frames and allowed three runs on three hits, including a pair of homers, with two walks and three strikeouts in the opener of a doubleheader. Garcia has surrendered five earned runs and three homers in five innings this season. Tyler Alexander, who made his Major League debut for Detroit last year, tied the American League record with nine consecutive punchouts on his way to fanning a career-high 10 over 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Tigers No. 15 prospect Bryan Garcia was charged with two runs on two hits in his lone frame out of the bullpen in the nightcap. Game 1 box score, Game 2 box score

Rangers 9, Giants 5

Jonathan Hernández earned his second win of the season with two innings of scoreless relief. The Rangers' No. 24 prospect walked one and struck out four without yielding a hit. Hernandez (2-0) has fanned eight while holding opponents to a .176 average through four appearances. Box score

Twins 3, Indians 1

James Karinchak worked around a pair of hits while striking out three in a scoreless eighth inning. Cleveland's No. 14 prospect has not allowed an earned run over five innings, spanning four appearances. He's fanned eight of the 18 batters he's faced. Box score

Rockies 9, Padres 6

Jake Cronenworth continued the fine start to his Major League career with a single and a run scored in two at-bats for San Diego. The 17th-ranked Padres prospect has hit safely in three of his four appearances and is batting .400/.455/.900 with three extra-base hits. No. 23 Javy Guerra was reached for four runs on five hits and a walk in one inning out of the San Diego bullpen. Box score

Astros 6, Angels 5 (11 innings)

Astros No. 27 prospect Blake Taylor earned his first Major League win after recording the final four outs of the game. The southpaw did not allow a hit while issuing a pair of walks and striking out two. Taylor has not yielded a run while fanning nine over 7 1/3 frames in five appearances this season. Third-ranked Abraham Toro flied to right in the eighth as a pinch-hitter. Box score

Yankees 9, Red Sox 7

Yankees No. 25 prospect Michael King came on in relief of starter James Paxton and allowed two runs on a pair of hits while punching out four over 3 2/3 frames. The right-hander sports a 1.03 WHIP through his first two appearances this season. Box score

Tyler Maun is a reporter for and co-host of “The Show Before The Show” podcast. You can find him on Twitter @tylermaun.