The 2021 MLB Draft will begin on July 11, 2021, in Atlanta, Ga. We take a look at Ty Madden, a right-handed pitcher out of Texas with the ability to dominate batters.
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Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
Weight: 215 lbs.
2019: 15G, 8GS, 4-1, 3.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 16 ER, 1 HR, 24 BB, 37 K
2020: 4 GS, 3-0, 1.80 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 5 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 26 K
2021: 12 GS, 6-2, 2.27 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 19 ER, 3 HR, 28 BB, 89 K
There is a lot to like about Madden. He is a polished prospect who throws a solid fastball and slider. He’s also made major strides in terms of his command and control over the past couple of years, which can only help his stock. He still has some room for development—specifically when it comes to his curveball and changeup—but the fact of the matter is that Madden is silly good at what he does.
Let’s start with the fastball. He throws this pitch hard, fast, and with ease. Its velocity checks in around the mid-90s, though it reached 98 mph in-game before and 99 mph off-camera. He looks absolutely dominant when throwing this pitch and has proven that he can just blow the baseball right by batters. Madden also employs an equally impressive slider. This pitch checks in around the mid-80s and has been a part of Madden’s arsenal that he has focused on improving. His slider has added some velocity and tails away from right-handers at the last second with some nasty, swing-and-miss-inducing movement.
Control is another area where Madden has been solid. After posting 5.1 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9 in his first collegiate season, he’s bounced back over the past two years to log 2.9 BB/9 and 10.2 K/9. These are truly incredible strides for the right-hander that reflect the work and effort he has put into becoming a more solid, reliable pitcher. He’s also bulked up and filled out his frame since arriving at Texas, so that likely helped him produce better results on the mound, too.
As exciting as Madden looks, there are some flaws that need to be considered. His curveball, for starters, leaves a lot to be desired in the deception and movement department. The pitch comes in around the upper-90s and has drop that can only be described as mediocre at best. Madden’s curveball is nowhere near being something that he can use deep in counts, so he’ll likely need to spend more time working on its development in the minors.
Madden’s changeup is in a similar position as his curveball. While the good news is that the pitch doesn’t have much spin, the concerns outweigh this lone pro. The changeup checks in around the low-80s and lacks the ability to baffle batters and be a pitch that Madden uses deep into counts. He also struggles to find the zone when throwing the pitch, so this, too, will need to be a key area of focus during his development. He really needs to focus on improving his curveball and changeup—or at least one or the other—because he can’t be a starter in the majors if he almost always relies on just a fastball and slider.
Pro Comparison: Michael Fulmer
It’s easy to see the similarities between Fulmer and Madden. The former is now 28 years old with five years of MLB experience, including one as an All-Star. They both have an identical arsenal of fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. Fulmer, just like Madden, throws his four-seamers in the mid-90s with the potential to occasionally (albeit rarely) touch 100 mph. He also has a low-90s slider, which breaks away from right-handers in a similar respect to Madden. The Tigers hurler possesses a changeup, too; this pitch represents an ideal target for Madden to replicate. The two have similar spin rates on the pitch (around 1625 RPM) but Fulmer uses it 15 percent of the time. This could be just enough usage for Madden to not rely on it too much but also have it in his back pocket if necessary.
Draft Projection: Top-10 Pick
There is no such thing as as a “sure thing” in the draft, but Madden presents a lot of what scouts are looking for. He has the fastball and slider already working, as well as top-tier command. When watching him pitch, the eye test makes it clear that Madden has the makings of a well-regarded starter with a long future in the majors. The biggest thing right now is the development of his changeup, which needs to be solidified as his third pitch. Figuring out the curveball and giving it more drop is another potential area of focus, too.