Tigers, Madden (No. 32 pick) agree to deal

Detroit also comes to terms with right-hander and 4th-round choice Mattison

July 20th, 2021

DETROIT -- A week had passed since the Tigers had selected Ty Madden with their comp pick late in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft when the University of Texas right-hander finally had his welcome-to-the-pros moment. It came after the 32nd pick overall and his parents landed at Detroit Metro Airport and found a driver waiting for them.

“When we landed [Sunday] night, they had a little card with my name to pick me up,” Madden said. “And I was like, ‘All right, this is the real deal now.’”

Then came the moment he walked onto the field at Comerica Park on Monday morning and looked out from the Tigers' dugout along the third-base line to the outfield fences in the distance. His reaction was the same as a lot of pitchers have had over the years.

“I’ve never been here before,” he said, “and it’s giant. But that plays to my favor. It’s beautiful.”

It’ll be a while before Madden can take advantage of all that space in his game, but Monday marked the first step, as he became one of Detroit’s first picks of this Draft to reach a deal. His contract includes a $2.5 million bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, slightly over the $2,257,300 slot value assigned to the 32nd overall pick.

Madden had been ranked ninth on MLB Pipeline’s Draft Prospect list going into the Draft. Tigers officials were as surprised as anybody that he fell to their Competitive Balance pick, especially after his performance for the Longhorns in the College World Series.

Not since the 2015 Astros had a team selected two Top 10 prospects in the same Draft. While Madden fell, he landed with a team that has a history of developing college pitchers and has a pair of former college pitching coaches in prominent positions in the organization. Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter became one of the hottest names on the coaching circuit at the University of Michigan, while Dan Hubbs was USC’s head coach and Cal’s pitching coach before joining the Tigers as director of pitching development and strategies.

Detroit's rotation currently has three pitchers drafted out of college by the club in former top pick Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Tyler Alexander. Fellow former Tigers Draft pick Spencer Turnbull is currently on the injured list.

“I just think you see it with the rotation now that they really advance college pitchers,” Madden said. “I think this organization’s headed in the right direction.”

Madden also has friends in the organization. Fellow University of Texas product and offseason workout partner Kody Clemens is at Triple-A Toledo. Top prospect Spencer Torkelson, currently at Double-A Erie, roomed with Madden in the Cape Cod League a couple years ago, and was one of the first to text him after the Tigers drafted him.

After all the innings Madden piled up in the Longhorns’ run to the College World Series, he isn’t expected to pitch in games this summer. The more likely plan, he said, is for him to head to Lakeland, Fla., to do some work on his pitches before returning home.

Tigers sign fourth-round pick

Madden wasn’t the only signing on Monday. The Tigers also reached a deal with fourth-round selection Tyler Mattison, a right-hander out of Bryant University.

Mattison will receive a $400,000 bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis, slightly below the $560,000 slot value.

Mattison posted a 95-to-14 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 80 1/3 innings this season at Bryant on his way to earning NEC Pitcher of the Year honors. He boasts a mid-90s fastball, complemented by a solid changeup.