The University of Texas baseball team, which has a rich history of producing players who end up playing professionally, had three 2021 players selected on the first two rounds of this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft: pitcher Ty Madden was taken 32nd overall, with a Competitive Balance selection sandwiched between the first and second round, by the Detroit Tigers; center fielder Mike Antico was taken in the eighth round — 241st overall — by the St. Louis Cardinals, and relief pitcher Cole Quintanilla was selected in the ninth round, 263rd overall, by the Washington Nationals.
Madden was the second pitcher selected Sunday night by the Tigers, who grabbed Oklahoma high school hurler Jackson Jobe with the third overall pick.
Detroit amateur scouting director Scott Pleis said Sunday night that the additions of Jobe and Madden give the Tigers a pair of power arms for their future.
“We always want to get the best guys, and the pitching worked into that,” Pleis said. “We did want to get some arms, and it really worked out good. We got two great pitchers today.”
Madden went 7-5 in 2021, with an earned run average of 2.45 over 113-2/3 innings. He struck out 137 batters and held opponents to a .188 batting average against him.
“To be honest with you, we were surprised that he fell that far,” Pleis said. “We thought he was going to be kind of a 'tweener [between the Tigers’ picks]. I saw him early in the spring, and I probably saw his best game.
“[Madden is] a competitor. Great arm, good slider, shows a good changeup too — just kind of a workhorse guy on the mound with a great competitive edge to him.”
Madden is the highest a Longhorn has been drafted since former UT pitcher Taylor Jungmann was taken 12th overall in 2011 by the Milwaukee Brewers; Jungmann was the last Texas pitcher to be named Big 12 Pitcher of the Year before Madden picked up the honor this season.
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Since arriving at UT as a transfer, Antico took over as the Longhorns’ center fielder. He led the NCAA with 63 walks, and finished second in the country with 41 stolen bases. He scored a team-high 59 runs, thanks in part to 10 home runs, which made him the first player in UT history with 10 or more home runs and 40 or more stolen bases in a season. He also tallied 16 doubles and pair of triples while driving in 47 runs.
Quintanilla goes to the nation’s capital, where the Nationals have made a habit of drafting big pitchers with power arms from the college ranks. He went 5-1 in 2021 with an ERA of 1.35 over 40 innings, struck out 42 and allowed opponents to bat just .165 against him.
The Draft will conclude Tuesday with rounds 11-20.