As the Tigers readied for their second-round pick in Monday’s resumption of the 2021 MLB Draft, they got a high-energy endorsement from their second selection Sunday, Ty Madden, the University of Texas right-handed starter Detroit grabbed with the No. 32 overall pick.
“Perfect organization for me,” said Madden, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound redshirt sophomore who was expected by most draft analysts to be closer to a top-15 choice. “They’ve got a great reputation for developing college pitchers, and I think it’s the perfect spot.”
Madden was Southwest Conference pitcher of the year in 2021 after pitching in 18 games for the Longhorns, meshing a 2.45 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP. He worked 113.2 innings, allowing but 75 hits, while striking out 137 and walking 44.
“To be honest, we were surprised he fell that far,” said Scott Pleis, who directs amateur scouting for the Tigers. “He’s got a great arm, with a good slider, and he shows a change-up, too. He’s just kind of a workhorse on the mound with a great competitive edge to him.”
Madden is viewed as having a mid-90s fastball, a plus slider, and durability that the Tigers believe could, and should, translate into deeper-innings starts.
Madden conceded that he was “a little surprised in the beginning” that he lasted so deeply into Sunday night’s selections. The hangup was believed to be a money issue, revolving around some tense discussions between various clubs and Madden’s agent.
But he downplayed any issues Monday, focusing instead on why a heavy Astros fan was excited to work with ex-Astros manager AJ Hinch, now skippering the Tigers, as well as pitching coach Chris Fetter.
“I’m pumped to meet him and work with him,” he said of Hinch, adding that he was aware of Fetter’s “great reputation” and how Tigers coaches and tutors could help in sharpening his secondary pitches and fastball command.
He wasn’t sure, until Sunday night’s chatter hinted at Detroit’s pursuit, that he was Tigers-bound.
“I knew they liked me early in the year,” Madden said. “I wasn’t in touch with them a crazy amount. But I knew they scouted me and really liked me.”
Detroit’s pick at 32 overall was a Competitive Balance selection, a bonus pick awarded to six teams deemed by MLB as worthy of an extra turn, due to market size and recent won-loss records.
The Tigers were expected to have delectable options Monday with the 39th selection, three picks into the second round. Among the possibilities were two college second basemen, Cody Morissette of Boston College, and Connor Norby of East Carolina. Also available: Peyton Stovall, a prep shortstop from Haughton (Louisiana High).
Monday’s draft was set for 10 rounds, with the draft’s final 10 rounds set for Tuesday.
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Lynn Henning is a freelance writer and former Detroit News sports reporter.