Ty Madden has established himself as one of many prime pitching prospects within the Detroit Tigers system. Drafted thirty second total final 12 months out of the College of Texas, the 22-year-old right-hander has a 2.92 ERA to go along with 119 strikeouts and simply 88 hits allowed in 114 innings between Excessive-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie. Furthermore, he’s been particularly spectacular since incomes an early-August promotion. Over his final 4 begins, Madden has fanned 29 Japanese League batters whereas surrendering simply three runs in 22-and-a-third innings.
Earlier this summer season, I requested Madden how a lot the group’s analytics-driven pitching program has impacted his growth.
“I’ve undoubtedly discovered lots since coming to professional ball,” mentioned Madden, who was nonetheless in Excessive-A after we spoke. “Earlier than, I knew a superb quantity of the data, however I didn’t actually know what to do with it. The workers right here has form of taught me what these numbers imply — after they’re good versus after they’re unhealthy — and there are additionally the analytics for hitters. Together with figuring out your individual stuff, there’s the sport plan and easy methods to go towards that individual lineup.”
Madden encompasses a five-pitch arsenal that features a mid-90s fastball and a plus slider, so whereas he’s not an influence pitcher within the purest sense, he does have the flexibility to go proper after hitters. However once more, his early-career schooling contains utilizing knowledge to benefit from hitters’ weaknesses. And whereas the data isn’t as strong within the minors as it’s within the massive leagues, Madden has been impressed with what he’s been offered. Simply as importantly, he’s taking a look at it with an more and more nuanced lens.
“The stories now we have are fairly in-depth,” opined the right-hander. “Plenty of it’s the place the hitters hit for energy and the place their swing-and-miss is, and each of these are clearly actually necessary. The pattern dimension is getting larger every day, too. My knowledge is getting larger as properly. The scouting stories that groups have on me are getting extra in-depth, so I want to concentrate on that as I am going alongside.”
Madden has grow to be conscious that his fastball will be efficient up within the zone. That wasn’t a lot the case as a university participant, however he’s improved his spin effectivity because of a mechanical adjustment that has him engaged on much less of a downward aircraft. Excessive heaters are actually a part of his assault plan, albeit not as his main weapon. As Madden defined, “I can’t abuse that. My bread and butter continues to be stealing strikes down and away, so I save elevating for when it’s going to most play to my benefit.”
Throwing extra fastballs up within the zone hasn’t been Madden’s solely adjustment in his first full skilled season. Detroit’s no. 8 prospect has upped his curveball and changeup utilization, and he additionally started throwing a cutter halfway by way of the summer season. The tweaks have largely been data-driven, however whereas Madden has clearly purchased in to the group’s more and more analytical method, he’s nonetheless bought a little bit little bit of old fashioned to him. The righty believes in a balanced method to pitching.
“After we first began engaged on issues, it was a little bit extra in regards to the pitch lab — and we nonetheless have the tech arrange after we throw our bullpens — however I nonetheless worth the attention check,” defined Madden. “I believe your eyes inform you a large number about whether or not your pitches are good or not. For example, I don’t want numbers to inform me that I bought round a pitch. On the similar time, having the info undoubtedly helps. I’m a greater pitcher due to it.”