Anderson on Madrigal: Cubs “get their money’s worth” originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
You couldn’t have forgotten Nick Madrigal on the South Side, could you?
“Who is he?” White socks Shortstop Tim Anderson grimaced and then smiled when asked about the new one Boys Infielder.
The fact is, Anderson knows Madrigal as well as anyone. They were double-play partners with the White Sox for the past two seasons before the Sox sent Madrigal and Codi Heuer to the Cubs at close of trading for Craig Kimbrel.
So what exactly are the Cubs getting in their new 24-year-old second baseman who was nigh-acquired for their former All-Star?
“A guy who will strike. He’s going to strike, ”said Anderson. “He’ll find a way to get to the base. That’s the goal – to get down to earth, to be a hitter, and that’s what he does. He’s a pretty good hitter and he works.
“You got your money’s worth.”
The return on investment for the Cubs will not be visible until opening day 2022 at the earliest. Madrigal is out for the season after undergoing surgery to repair proximal tendon tears in his right Achilles tendon – after missing part of the 2020 60-game season with a severed left shoulder.
But when Madrigal is sane, he’s already shown he’s everything Anderson plans.
Madrigal hit .340 in 29 games last season with a .376 on-base percentage. He hit .305 with a .349 OBP in 54 games that season before going down on June 9 with that Achilles tendon injury.
He also specializes in something the Cubs have struggled with in recent years: making contact. Madrigal has a career contact rate of 91.8.
“That’s what you get – contact,” Anderson said. “You’re not going to get a lot of strength or anything, but you do get a batsman who gets down to the ground for you.
“He’s going to be a spark plug. I can see that he fits into that lineup. It really fits anywhere in the line-up. He fit into our line-up and he did great, he hit 0.300.
“He’s a pretty good batsman, man. A young, mature batsman. “
A mature – and one of a kind – hitter.
“This kid brings something that we lack in the game,” said Ozzie Guillen, former White Sox manager. “Move the guy, hit behind the runners, don’t hit a lot, a better two-hit hitter.
“He does so many little things that nobody thinks about. He has to stay healthy. He sustained a couple of serious injuries. If you watch him once a week, you could say, ‘What?’
“But if you watch this boy every day, you will appreciate what he does for the team because he is persistent.”
Maybe that’s why the Sox said it was so hard to trade. The only thing they knew this season is that they are trying to win the World Series.
As much as Madrigal may have helped them in the future, he wasn’t going to help with their playoff push this fall.
“We know that we will have to watch Nick Madrigal for the next five years in a Cub jersey, which is very likely to make an impression and cause damage at the level of the big league. It will not be easy,” said Sox GM Rick Hahn afterwards the trade.
“When we sent [José] Quintana there, … we knew we were in danger of my kids having to go through another parade in October. It doesn’t sit well. “
Madrigal has had a major operation. Overall, he has played half of a full 162-game career since making his big league debut.
There were questions about his defense and his baserunning, two qualities he was praised for when he got through the Sox system.
“The door is wide open for him to have a great career, be in a great place and do great things,” said Anderson. “At the end of the day, he has to put the work into it.”
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