Two of the greatest middle infielders in Oregon State history reportedly signed professional contracts on Sunday.
Nick Madrigal, the 2017 Pac-12 player and defensive player of the year, agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox. 2018 Pac-12 defensive player of the year Cadyn Grenier is now a member of the Baltimore Orioles organization.
The juniors helped lead OSU to its third College World Series title last week. The Beavers finished the season 55-12-1 overall after taking two of three from Arkansas in the CWS finals.
Monday afternoon, OSU announced that senior third baseman Michael Gretler signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen agreed to terms with the Milwaukee Brewers last month.
Madrigal, a second baseman, was taken fourth overall in June’s Major League Baseball draft. He hit .367 this season with three home runs, 34 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and 41 runs scored despite missing 26 games with a broken left wrist.
The 5-foot-8, 165-pound Madrigal was also drafted out of Elk Grove High (California) by the Cleveland Indians in the 17th round but turned down professional baseball. Madrigal, a three-year starter and career .361 hitter, reportedly agreed to a full slot value signing bonus of $6.4 million.
Prior to the Corvallis Super Regional, Madrigal said coming to OSU was “the best decision of my life.”
“Not only because of baseball, but all the life lessons I’ve learned along the way and the friendships I’ve made,” he added. “I am very thankful to be able to say I came here and played for this program. Looking back on it now, I definitely think I made the right decision.”
Grenier, also a three-year starter and OSU’s primary shortstop the past two seasons, batted .319 with six home runs and 47 RBIs as a junior. A CWS finals hero, Grenier’s two-out, ninth-inning RBI single tied Game 2 at 3.
The Las Vegas-area native was a 21st-round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015 out of Bishop Gorman High (Nevada). Grenier, listed at 5-11 and 188 pounds, was picked 37th overall this year and reportedly signed at his $1.9 million slot value.
Grenier won the 2018 Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate shortstop by the College Baseball Foundation.
“I owe it all to the preparation that I put in day in and day out,” Grenier said on draft night. “I take every ground ball in practice like it’s a Game 7 World Series clincher. And that is just the way I go about my business on defense. I know my athleticism and my arm, and I expect to make plays that people can’t even dream of and I expect to make them routinely. So it is all the mindset and preparation I put in and it pays off.”
Gretler, from Bonney Lake, Washington, hit .305 as a senior in 2018 with seven home runs and 51 RBIs. He was a 10th-round selection this June after going in the 39th round — also to Pittsburgh — last year.
Gretler was a career .285 hitter for the Beavers, appearing in 202 games with 178 starts. He signed for $50,000 (slot value $140,800), according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
“If there’s an MVP on our team, (Gretler) is one of them,” coach Pat Casey said earlier this year. “He does everything for us.”
Rasmussen, who missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing a second Tommy John surgery, was drafted in the sixth round (185th overall) and reportedly signed for $135,000. The slot value for the 185th pick was $251,700.
Rasmussen, a three-time draftee, was a 39th-round selection in 2014 out of Mount Spokane High in Washington. He went 31st overall last June but didn’t sign with the Tampa Bay Rays after failing an MRI.
“Here’s a guy that was a first-rounder and somebody is going to get a guy that they’re going to love in their organization because he’s just off the charts,” Casey said last month.
The Beavers have lost one incoming recruit to the draft.
Jayce Easley, a middle infielder from Arizona, was taken in the fifth round by the Texas Rangers and signed for $500,000. As of Monday, Easley is batting .412 (14 for 34) with the AZL Rangers.
OSU junior outfielders Trevor Larnach (20th overall, Minnesota Twins) and Steven Kwan (163rd overall, Cleveland Indians) are also expected to sign deals. Senior lefty Luke Heimlich has received interest from multiple MLB teams, including the Kansas City Royals, and is likely to become a professional.
Drafted players with eligibility remaining can return to school if they choose not to sign. Teams must agree to terms with nonseniors by Friday.