Detroit Tigers No. 5 Prospect – Ty Madden – RHP
Ty Madden was one of the best, most consistent, and hardest-throwing pitchers in college baseball in 2021, and as such he was ranked a top-12 draft prospect by Baseball America, FanGraphs, and MLB Pipeline. But late concerns about the movement and effectiveness of his fastball led to a draft-day slide, and the Tigers happily scooped him up with the 32nd overall pick. He will be a fascinating pitcher to watch in pro ball.
Madden has an ideal starter’s frame and maintained his quality stuff through a full college season with Texas. He pitches from a high-3/4 arm slot that is nearly straight over the top, and his fastball sits in the mid-90s and touches 99. The pitch works best when he locates it low, as college batters did a lot of damage against his heater when he left it up in the zone. Madden’s money pitch was his mid-80s slider, which shows some mild horizontal movement and drops so much it almost resembles a splitter. He also has an upper-80s changeup, but almost never threw it in college, and he throws plenty of strikes, but enters pro ball with below-average command. It’s easy to envision Madden making a few mechanical tweaks and then flying through the minors to become a mid-rotation starter…but it’s equally easy to imagine him becoming a slider-heavy reliever who has to pitch backward. He’ll likely begin his 2022 season in High-A West Michigan.