Arizona League pitchers couldn't do it. Their South Atlantic League counterparts couldn't either. Now, it'll be Carolina League hurlers' chance to do what no Minor Leaguer has yet so far -- strike Nick Madrigal out.
The White Sox are promoting first-rounder and No. 33 overall prospect from Class A Kannpolis to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin.
This is the third time Madrigal has been promoted since Chicago took him fourth overall out of Oregon State in June and signed him to a $6,411,400 slot bonus shortly after he led the Beavers to a College World Series title.
The 21-year-old, right-handed hitter went 15-for-44 with three doubles, six RBIs and two stolen bases during his 12-game stay with Kannapolis. But the most remarkable stat of his young career so far remains that he has yet to strike out over 66 plate appearances in the Arizona and Sally Leagues. That's by far the most plate appearances by a Minor League hitter without a strikeout this season; Kole Calhoun is second with 20 from his brief rehab assignment to Triple-A Salt Lake in June.
Madrigal, who stands just 5-foot-7, was drafted so high because of his impressive hit tool. He batted .380/.449/.532 with a 16/27 K/BB ratio as a sophomore in 2017 and saw that line dip only slightly to .367/.428/.511 during his final spring in Corvallis -- though he may have been affected by a fractured hand that caused him to miss 20-plus games. He ended up striking out in only 5.2 percent of his plate appearances over three seasons with the Beavers.
Madrigal played one game at shortstop in the AZL but has made 14 other starts at second base, which he called home in college.
The White Sox also promoted No. 12 prospect Steele Walker to Kannapolis. The 2018 second-rounder out of Oklahoma hit .267/.333/.422 with two homers and a double in 13 games between the AZL and Rookie-level Great Falls before heading to his first full-season affiliate.