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Detroit Tigers prospect Ty Madden impressing coaches, teammates in first pro season with Whitecaps

Whitecaps pitcher Ty Madden signs a ball for a young fan during the Whitecaps' season opener against the Lansing Lugnuts Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at LMCU Ballpark.

COMSTOCK PARK — When Ty Madden toed the rubber Sunday, his nerves were calm.

It’s not often that a mound feels so tranquil for a pitcher making their professional baseball debut. But rookie for the West Michigan Whitecaps has dealt with plenty of pressure-packed situations on the diamond over the first 22 years of his life.

Just under a year ago, Madden was hurling his fastball, which can get up to 99 miles per hour and sits consistently in the 96 mph range, at the University of Texas. He became the Longhorns’ ace in a town that treats UT baseball like a quasi Major League club. He dominated in the NCAA Tournament and helped earn Texas a coveted spot at the College World Series.

That’s why he was able to toss four innings of one-hit ball in a win over the Great Lakes Loons, striking out six in the process. After walking out on the bump in Omaha, a little Minor League baseball doesn’t faze this guy.

“It just helps so much, pitching in those big games in college slows the game down for me,” Madden said. “Being able to kind of block out that noise is something I’ve had to do before and can do again in the future.”

Ty Madden pitches against Mississippi St. during the Division I Baseball Championship held at TD Ameritrade Park on June 20, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska.

It’s no surprise that the Detroit Tigers wanted him, with the mental makeup that’s come to handle massive moments, along with an electric fastball, complementary slider and pinpoint command. He was selected with the 32nd overall pick of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft and was assigned to the Whitecaps after Spring Training finished earlier this month and is already ranked as the organization’s 6th overall prospect for the Tigers.

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