The decision paid off.
Three years ago, Texas Longhorns right-handed pitcher Ty Madden took a calculated risk when he decided to play college baseball instead of signing with the Kansas City Royals as a 34th-round draft pick.
After earning Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors in 2021, Madden was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft with the 32nd pick in the first round by the Detroit Tigers and signed on Monday for a reported $2.5 million, about $250k over the slot value for the pick.
Ty is a Tiger!— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 19, 2021
We have agreed to terms with RHP Ty Madden, the 32nd-overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. pic.twitter.com/bRIVCSAB6W
Ranked by ESPN as the No. 19 overall prospect in the draft, Madden was the first starting pitcher from Texas selected in the first round since Taylor Jungmann. The Longhorns hadn’t had any player selected that highly since reliever Cory Knebel was picked No. 39 in 2013.
Madden went 7-5 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over 113.2 innings with 137 strikeouts.
Several other Texas players with eligibility remaining have also signed — eight-round selection Cole Quintanilla, a right-handed pitcher who signed with the New York City Mets, 19th-round selection Cam Williams, a third baseman who signed with the Kansas City Royals, and 20th-round selection Zach Zubia, a first baseman who signed with the Miami Marlins.
Quintanilla signed for $130k, $6k below his slot value, while Williams inked for a reported $20k. Center fielder Mike Antico, who was a surprising selection by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round, signed for $20k, over $150k under slot value since he’s a fifth-year player with no remaining eligibility.
The two drafted players who have not yet made decisions are designed hitter Ivan Melendez, selected in the 16th round by the Marlins, and right-hander Kolby Kubichek
Kubichek is likely to sign as he faces a difficult path back into the starting rotation after losing his Sunday role late in the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, Melendez is contemplating his decision, telling KTSM.com that he’ll make a decision in the coming days as he asks for well above slot value after falling from inside the top-200 prospects nationally to the No. 479th pick.
“It would have to be a good amount of money to pass up my degree at UT Austin and everything I have going on down there as far as baseball goes,” said Melendez.
The Texas slugger added that he thought it would be beneficial for him to return to Texas and play first base in 2022 — he feels like organizations are evaluating him on half the player he is since Zubia handled the vast majority of first-base duties for the Horns this year.
Kubichek signed with the Mets on Monday evening, nearly signing for as much as Quintanilla did.