The Tigers doubled up on right-handed pitching Sunday night, grabbing University of Texas ace Ty Madden with the 32nd-overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, after they had tabbed Oklahoma prep Jackson Jobe with the No. 3overall choice.
Madden, 21, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound starter who was Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. The Tigers got him surprisingly late, given that Madden was slated to go as high as the first 10 on Sunday, and certainly within the first round.
Madden brings a different degree of pitching talent to the Tigers, based mostly on his experience.
He pitched in 18 games for the Longhorns, meshing a 2.45 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP. He worked 113-2/3 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.”
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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.
Detroit’s pick at 32 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 will select again, quickly, with the 39th overall pick, when the second round of the 2021 draft begins at 1 p.m. Monday. Ten rounds will be completed Monday, with the final 10 of the 20-round sweepstakes wrapping up Tuesday.
Lynn Henning is a freelance writer and former Detroit News sports reporter.
► When: 1 p.m. Monday (Rounds 2-10), noon Tuesday (Rounds 11-20)
► How to watch: Stream at MLB.com
► Tigers picks: The Tigers own one pick in each round, with their first pick Monday at No. 39 overall.