5 Stars The Cleveland Guardians Had And Lost In The MLB Draft

The MLB Draft in an interesting process that allows players to be selected multiple times, never signing deals. Here are five players the Cleveland Guardians nearly had, but lost to the process.
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves
Arizona Diamondbacks v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next

3. Nick Madrigal, 2015 MLB Draft

Nick Madrigal
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs - Game One / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The production of Nick Madrigal has been short of expectations, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he almost landed himself in Cleveland. Aside from pitchers, middle infielders have proven to be another strength of the Cleveland organization, stretching all the way from Jhonny Peralta to Gabriel Arias and Brayan Rocchio. Had Madrigal signed with Cleveland, it could have been a different result for him.

The 2015 MLB Draft was when Cleveland tried to land Madrigal. Moving up the rounds that we've talked about so far, Cleveland took Madrigal in the 17th round out of Elk Grove High School. Like Steer, I can't blame someone from California for turning down Ohio for a chance to improve their stock. Instead, Madrigal went to Oregon State, and like most players, spent three years in the college ranks.

Madrigal is the first player on this list to not appear in the Cape Cod, but his stats at Oregon State were enough. He slashed an impressive .361/.422/.502 with the Beavers while stealing 39 bases and driving in 103 RBI. The speed remained impressive, with 30 doubles and 11 triples. The collegiate career earned him a fourth overall pick selection in the 2018 MLB Draft to the Chicago White Sox with high expectations.

Madrigal made his debut with the Southside Sox on July 31, 2020, but only played in 83 games for them before making the move across town. On July 30, 2021, the White Sox sent Madrigal and Codi Heuer to the Cubs for Craig Kimbrel. After a strong start with the White Sox, Madrigal has slumped a bit with the Cubs, watching his batting average dip from .317 on the southside to .254 with the Cubbies.

Despite the fall in production, it's hard to ignore what could have been with Madrigal in Cleveland. The middle infield pairing of him and Andres Gimenez could have been intriguing. However, it could be a cautionary tale for another top Oregon State middle infield prospect who is tearing through the season as we speak.