- Full name Warner Antonio Madrigal
- Born 03/21/1984 in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Evangelina Rodriguez
- Debut 07/02/2008
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Angels converted Madrigal from the outfield to the mound after his disappointing 2006 season with the bat, and the move paid immediate dividends. But after his breakout 2007 season at low Class A, they failed to place him on the 40-man roster before the end of the World Series, inadvertently making him a minor league free agent, and the Rangers pounced on him. He skipped a level and started 2008 in Double-A and spent the entire second half of the season in the majors after injuries hit the Texas bullpen. After posting a 7.94 ERA in July, he compiled a 3.28 mark the rest of the way, and the biggest difference was his secondary stuff. He added velocity to his slider, which often graded as a plus pitch after he boosted it to 84-86 mph. He also got comfortable late in the season with a splitter, an above-average pitch at times with late downer action and fade. His bread-and-butter remains his fastball, which sits at 93-94 mph and touches 95-96. His heater is rather straight and gets hit when he leaves it up in the zone, so the development of his secondary stuff was crucial. Madrigal has an aggressive mentality, a durable frame and a repeatable delivery. He'll stay in the big league bullpen in 2009, probably in a middle-relief or setup role. He has a chance to be a closer at some point if he can keep his fastball down and command his secondary stuff.
As a hitter, the powerful Madrigal drew comparisons to Albert Belle for his thick body and swing mechanics, and the Angels signed him as an outfielder for a $150,000 bonus. After he batted just .235/.273/.348 in his third straight season in the low Class A Midwest League in 2006, the Angels decided to convert him to the mound, and he had a breakout season back at Cedar Rapids in '07. But when the Angels inadvertently failed to place him on the 40-man roster before the end of the World Series, Madrigal became a minor league free agent, and the Rangers scooped him up. Madrigal has a strong, durable frame, a good arm action and a repeatable delivery. He mostly overpowered MWL hitters by pounding the strike zone with his plus fastball at 93-96 mph, but he'll flash an average slider at 83-86 in warmups. Madrigal won't be able to get by solely on his fastball in the upper levels, so he'll need to tighten the slider and develop more confidence in the pitch. The Rangers expect him to move quickly and will give him a look in big league camp, though he's more likely to close in Double-A this year.
After pummeling Pioneer League pitching in 2003, Madrigal was injured while taking a swing in the first game last season. He had surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone below his left wrist and returned in time to play in August. Former scouting director Donny Rowland and international scouting supervisor Clay Daniel made several trips to the Angels' Dominican academy to scout Madrigal and signed him for $150,000. He has two plus tools in his arm and power, while his foot speed and defensive ability rank below average and his approach at the plate needs refinement. He draws physical comparisons to Albert Belle because of his thick body and swing mechanics. Madrigal has good plate coverage and drives balls out of the park to all fields. Though he's a good fastball hitter, he could struggle at the upper levels of the minors if he doesn't learn better pitch recognition and shorten his stroke. He makes routine plays in right field but doesn't have much range. Madrigal likely will open at low Class A in 2005, a pivotal year in his development.
Former scouting director Donny Rowland and international scouting supervisor Clay Daniel made three trips to the team's Dominican academy to scout Madrigal, who initially asked for a $1 million bonus. After seeing Madrigal throw and take batting practice, the Angels weren't going to let him get away, eventually landing him for $150,000. He physically resembles Albert Belle, and his swing has similar length and power. Rowland described Madrigal's approach at the plate as "full attack mode with bad intentions." He crushes fastballs and saw a lot of them in Rookie ball. After starting the year with a few minor but nagging injuries in extended spring training, Madrigal proceeded to lead the Pioneer League in runs, hits, doubles and extra-base hits. He'll need to tone down his aggressive, all-out swing and improve his pitch selection and recognition as he progress. Madrigal is a below-average runner who doesn't have great instincts on defense, but he has the best outfield arm in the system and profiles well in right. Anaheim will challenge him with a jump to low Class A, and how he adapts will be a good indication of his future potential.
Minor League Top Prospects
After signing for $150,000, Madrigal spent his first five seasons in pro ball as an outfielder. However, his above-average raw power didn't translate to games well enough because of his inability to recognize breaking balls. After getting off to a tough start in his third straight assignment to low Class A Cedar Rapids, Madrigal assented when the Angels asked him to move to the mound in late May. As a pitcher, Madrigal showed the same raw arm strength he had as an outfielder. His fastball touched 98 mph and he regularly sat at 94 mph when he maintained his mechanics. His slider also showed signs of being a reliable second pitch. Still just 22, he could move quickly if he continues to show aptitude in his new role. "What impressed me was the poise he showed for being new to pitching," Angels manager Ever Magallanes said. "He had pretty good mound presence for his level of experience."
Madrigal was one of the offensive catalysts for the Angels, leading the league in hits, doubles and extra-base hits. His body reminds observers of fellow Dominican Manny Ramirez. Madrigal has a plus-plus arm and plus power at 19. "He rips a lot of pitches that are not in the strike zone," Kotchman said. "But regardless of where the pitches are, the ball sounds different coming off his bat. He reminds me a lot of Dante Bichette at the same age." Madrigal must keep the lower half of his body in shape to maintain his athleticism. He's a below-average runner but a decent fielder who can make up for mistakes with his arm strength.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the Texas Rangers in 2009
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Los Angeles Angels in 2006
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Los Angeles Angels in 2005
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Los Angeles Angels in 2004