CORVALLIS - Pat Casey had one conversation about the major-league baseball draft while recruiting Nick Madrigal out of Elk Grove (Calif.) High School.
"People were offering him a lot of money and he said 'Coach, I think I'm a first rounder'," the OSU coach recalled.
Casey knew the 5-foot-8 infielder was not projected to be drafted that high.
"I said 'Then we don't have to talk about the draft anymore. You come to Oregon State and you are going to be a first rounder'," Casey told Madrigal.
Three years later, Casey's words came true when Madrigal was drafted No. 4 overall by the Chicago White Sox on Monday. Madrigal is expected to receive a $6 million bonus when he signs a contract with the White Sox once Oregon State's season is over.
"The best decision of my life to come here and play for coach Casey," Madrigal said on a conference call shortly after being selected. "I think it all worked out looking back on it now. ... Not only because of baseball, but all the life lessons learned along the way. Playing for this staff and the friendships I will have for the rest of my life. I am thankful I came here and played for this program. Looking back now, I definitely made the right decision."
Madrigal, the 2017 Pac-12 player of the year, is batting .406 with three homers and 32 RBIs and 32 runs scored in 32 games as a junior after missing 26 games due to a wrist injury. He has seven doubles and four triples while slugging .586 with a .470 on-base percentage for the third-seeded Beavers (47-10-1), who host Big 10 champion Minnesota (44-13) in a Super Regional next weekend.
Madrigal is the highest-drafted player in Oregon State history, passing Michael Conforto, who went No. 10 to the New York Mets in 2014. He is the first Beaver picked by the White Sox since Jace Fry in 2014.
"Leading up to the draft, my advisor and I talked a lot and last week we talked to different teams," Madrigal said. "I talked to the White Sox, they were one of the biggest ones out there that I kept in contact with. I couldn't have picked a better organization to go to. I can't wait to get going after this season."
Madrigal was at Goss Stadium with his teammates when he got the call from Chicago.
"It was awesome, a happy moment for my family and all the people here celebrating had a great reaction, a special moment," he said. "It is not my ultimate goal, but one of the goals. Something I worked for a long time."
Oregon State had two players selected in the first round for the first time in school history when outfielder Trevor Larnach went No. 20 overall to Minnesota. The 6-4 junior outfielder is hitting .327 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs.
His signing bonus is slotted to be just over $3 million. According to Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Larnach has reached a deal with the Twins and will sign following Oregon State's season.
"My expectations were all over the place, I was pretty stressed on where I was going and who was going to pick me," Larnach said. "I couldn't wait any longer."
OSU shortstop Cadyn Grenier was picked in the competitive balance round, a supplemental first-round, by Baltimore with the No. 37 overall pick. His projected signing bonus is just under $2 million.
The Pac-12 defensive player of the year is hitting .328 with five homers, 44 RBIs and a team-high 60 runs scored.
All three OSU juniors were drafted out of high school in 2015 before electing to attend college. Madrigal went in the 17th round to Cleveland, Grenier was picked by St. Louis in the 21st round, and Larnach went to San Diego in the 40th round.
"Those are guys who chose to go to college," Casey said. "It takes a lot of courage when people are offering you money and telling you that you could go to the big leagues in two years to have that kind of confidence."
The draft continues with rounds 3-10 on Tuesday before concluding with the final 30 rounds on Wednesday.
Oregon State pitchers Luke Heimlich, Bryce Fehmel, and Jake Mulholland are expected to be picked along with outfielders Kyle Nobach and Steven Kwan, first baseman Zak Taylor, and third baseman Michael Gretler.
"It's going to be a great day for the Beavers over the next couple days and then we are going to focus (Tuesday) on what we have to do with Minnesota," Casey said.