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FS: A conversation w/ Keith Law of The Athletic

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You may listen here.

Keith had a ton of positive things to say about the White Sox, which includes some interesting takes on Stiever, Madrigal and others. 

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2 hours ago, Squirmin' for Yermin said:

Seems to really like Steiver and pretty much hate Madrigal (which we all already kinda knew).

There’s just not a lot of upside to that type of player’s game, unless he can “hulk up” like Altuve.

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30 minutes ago, Moan4Yoan said:

There’s just not a lot of upside to that type of player’s game, unless he can “hulk up” like Altuve.

This is just not true.  Rod Carew average 5.7 WAR over a ten year period and Nellie Fox averaged a 4.5 WAR over a ten year period...both second basemen with similar profile.   Good defense, good base running, solid single hitting is worth a lot.  Not every player has to be a power hitter.  However...if you are without power one better be a + defender, a +fielder and have a plus +batting average or you end up being Willie Harris.   

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5 hours ago, Moan4Yoan said:

There’s just not a lot of upside to that type of player’s game, unless he can “hulk up” like Altuve.

Your baseball analysis is so shallow it hurts brother. 

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Baseball, as in every team sport, needs players who understand and intuitively execute on the things, often imperceptible, that help teams win. I'm guessing Madrigal possesses that ability in spades. He has been a winner at every level, including NCAA champ. The value those kind of players bring doesn't always show up in the box score. Taking the extra base, extending at-bats, hitting behind runners, calming pitchers down during mound visits, making every play, every throw, every decision correctly. He was the same player now as he was when he was drafted from a team that included Trevor Larnach, a check-all-the-boxes, Law kind of player and there wasn't a team in the league that wouldn't have drafted Madrigal before Larnach.

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15 minutes ago, Flash said:

Baseball, as in every team sport, needs players who understand and intuitively execute on the things, often imperceptible, that help teams win. I'm guessing Madrigal possesses that ability in spades. He has been a winner at every level, including NCAA champ. The value those kind of players bring doesn't always show up in the box score. Taking the extra base, extending at-bats, hitting behind runners, calming pitchers down during mound visits, making every play, every throw, every decision correctly. He was the same player now as he was when he was drafted from a team that included Trevor Larnach, a check-all-the-boxes, Law kind of player and there wasn't a team in the league that wouldn't have drafted Madrigal before Larnach.

I liked Larnach more than Madrigal prior to the draft, and a few others on here did also 

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21 minutes ago, Flash said:

Baseball, as in every team sport, needs players who understand and intuitively execute on the things, often imperceptible, that help teams win. I'm guessing Madrigal possesses that ability in spades. He has been a winner at every level, including NCAA champ. The value those kind of players bring doesn't always show up in the box score. Taking the extra base, extending at-bats, hitting behind runners, calming pitchers down during mound visits, making every play, every throw, every decision correctly. He was the same player now as he was when he was drafted from a team that included Trevor Larnach, a check-all-the-boxes, Law kind of player and there wasn't a team in the league that wouldn't have drafted Madrigal before Larnach.

The 4th pick in the draft is for ceiling. Guys with tools, bodies and athleticism. Teams can find intangible try hard players anywhere.  There's no reason to use such a high pick on a player with such a limited upside.  

I also liked Larnach more than Madrigal at the draft.

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Just mentioned Larnach to illustrate how GMs might view relative value. I understand some of you prefered Larnach but, Madrigal went 4 and Larnach 20. Madrigal was drafted 4 because the WS, as well as others, valued what he brings to an organization by way of leadership among other skills. If I recall correctly, the WS were considering Kelenek as the other option at 4. Either way, Sox will enjoy benefits from Madrigal while Larnach and Kelenek navigate their way through AA and AAA. 

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Madrigal did not prove (to fans during Spring Training) that he can hit hard line drives and deep fly balls that keep outfielders honest.  We mostly saw him hit grounders and a few bloops over the infield.  That left the impression that he not only lacks home run power, but that he might be a weak hitter that can be over powered by major league pitching.  I heard Madrigal say that he was working out with a strength coach before Spring but it didn't show in his early at-bats.   My hope is that any  conclusion that he is like a 95 pound weakling at the plate are premature and will be proven wrong

Edited by tray
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3 hours ago, tray said:

Madrigal did not prove (to fans during Spring Training) that he can hit hard line drives and deep fly balls that keep outfielders honest.  We mostly saw him hit grounders and a few bloops over the infield.  That left the impression that he not only lacks home run power, but that he might be a weak hitter that can be over powered by major league pitching.  I heard Madrigal say that he was working out with a strength coach before Spring but it didn't show in his early at-bats.   My hope is that any  conclusion that he is like a 95 pound weakling at the plate are premature and will be proven wrong

That would be the 27 at bats he had where you weren't impressed?

Please do yourself a favor and don't look at how Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncado, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, or Edwin Encarnacion did this spring...

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13 hours ago, HeHatesShe said:

That would be the 27 at bats he had where you weren't impressed?

Please do yourself a favor and don't look at how Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncado, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, or Edwin Encarnacion did this spring...

Don't put words in my mouth. I said Madrigal did not prove himself to fans (plural) during Spring training (in terms of his power) ,   And I never mentioned any of the veteran players you did, because that is obviously irrelevant.

 

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I think the talk here about Madrigal is funny. I’m an old guy now  but was  5’7 and 165 in high and college when I played. I was the number 3 hitter most of the time. I hit the ball over fences and was usually also the fastest kid on the field. I didn’t strike out much but I never had bat control like Madrigal.

my point here is that Madrigal could hit for power if he wanted too. He’s certainly strong enough. Hitting the ball hard is timing and leverage. He chooses to spray the ball and not strikeout He’s probably as strong as just about everyone he plays with. 

to say he’s a weakling is laughable. His swing will change over the years as he adjusts. 
 

one thing that I like about him was when he was playing in college and there was a meeting at the mound he was the only one I saw talk. Everybody else listened. That was impressive.

he gets  ripped her just like all the players do before they get their footing. Just sit back and enjoy the way this kid plays. He’s an usual dude.

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, tray said:

Don't put words in my mouth. I said Madrigal did not prove himself to fans (plural) during Spring training (in terms of his power) ,   And I never mentioned any of the veteran players you did, because that is obviously irrelevant.

 

Apologies. I'll rephrase. 

The fans who weren't impressed by Madrigal's first ever 27 spring training at bats should totally refrain from looking at the spring training totals of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncado, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenex or Edwin Encarnacion.

Edited by HeHatesShe
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I don't agree with the fans that question Madrigal's potential  for power, but at the same time, you cannot write off any concerns whatsoever just because ST was a small sample size.   The fact is that Madrigal  didn't hit too many home runs in the minors (4 HR in 628 ABs) so it can be an area he can improve upon.

Yogi  Berra was a left handed hitter that was about the same height as Madrigal and had big hands like Nick.  Yogi packed plenty of power into a compact swing.  

Yogi used to say :

"You don't have to swing hard to hit a home run..... If you got the timing, it'll go."

Yogi's swing

 

Edited by tray

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One should take a look at Ichiro stats. The man hit 117 homers in 19 seasons and he will be a hall of famer. I'm not comparing them as hitters but in our lineup a guy who can get on base and field and run the bases is exactly what we need imo.

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I agree.  I would also compare Madrigal to Nellie Fox - a Golden Glove second basemen who averaged 2 HR per year.

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