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Nick Madrigal Newsbeat

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Chicago White Sox acquire closer Craig Kimbrel from Chicago Cubs, give up Nick Madrigal

The Chicago White Sox acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the crosstown Cubs on Friday, a move that should give the AL Central leaders a fearsome bullpen for their playoff push.

The White Sox already had one of baseball’s best closers in All-Star Liam Hendriks. Now the South Siders add Kimbrel, who has a 0.49 ERA and 23 saves in 25 opportunities for the Cubs this season and leads NL relievers in strikeout rate and opponents’ batting average. Kimbrel ranks ninth with 371 career saves during his 12 years in the majors.

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he had a plan for how to use both closers, but was not ready to divulge specifics.

“On any given day, one may be available, the other one may not be,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “It puts us in a position where we have a very dynamic and impactful bullpen regardless of the situation that arises in each game.”

The White Sox paid quite a price to get Kimbrel: They sent second baseman Nick Madrigal, a budding star who is out for the season with a torn right hamstring, to the Cubs along with right-handed reliever Codi Heuer.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 31, 2021 at 12:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: craig kimbrel, cubs, nick madrigal, white sox

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Nick Madrigal Is Good. Can He Be Great?

Let me get this out of the way: Nick Madrigal is really good at baseball. Or at least, he’s really good at one aspect of it, and that aspect is one of the most important ones. Madrigal’s bat control is borderline otherworldly. Per FanGraphs’ measurements, Madrigal entered Sunday’s contest with a 100% in-zone contact rate. 100%! That’s zero swings and misses in the zone. Nearly 20 games into the season, that’s a remarkable achievement. Arguably more impressive is his 90.2% contact rate out of the zone. When he chases, he still hits the ball. Currently, only 31 qualified hitters have a higher in-zone contact rate than Madrigal has when leaving it. In terms of putting the bat on the baseball, Madrigal is a pure 80. It’s an amazing ability, and it’s one reason that, barring injury, it’s easy to see him hitting .300 or better for the next decade or more.

The question is how valuable can Madrigal be beyond his remarkable ability to make contact. He’s the ultimate “empty average” guy due to an aggressive approach and a complete lack of power. Entering Sunday’s game, Madrigal is a .327 hitter in his young, 47-game career. He has a .757 OPS to go along with that. Again good, but not as good as you’d expect from someone challenging for a batting title. ZIPS sees the weird combination of plusses and minuses and has Madrigal peaking at 2.3 WAR with a 101 OPS+. In order to go from good to really good, Madrigal is going to have to either walk more or hit balls harder, and he has a harder path than most in terms of making either happen.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 27, 2021 at 09:16 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: nick madrigal



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