The Detroit Tigers held the third and 32nd picks in the 2021 MLB Draft’s first round. With the picks they selected pitchers Jackson Jobe and Ty Madden at 3rd and 32nd, respectively.
Jobe is a high school pitching prospect and might have the best pure “stuff” in the draft. MLB.com had Jobe as the 7th best overall prospect in the draft. He could have certainly been higher, if not for the substantial risk that high school pitchers carry.
Here is what they have to say about Jobe as a pitching prospect:
“One of the best and most advanced high school pitching prospects in recent years, Dylan Bundy went fourth overall as an Oklahoma prepster in 2011 and reached the Majors 15 months later. Fast forward a decade and the Sooner State has another high school arm whom some scouts say is even better in Jobe. He has one of the quickest arms and the best slider in the Draft, and his other pitches have improved this spring. He won Gatorade’s state high school player of the year award after leading Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City) to the Oklahoma 4-A championship and going 9-0 with a 0.13 ERA and 122/5 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings.
Jobe showcases a wipeout slider that sits in the low 80s with elite spin rates above 3,000 rpm, depth and the ability to locate it where he wants. He pitches at 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 with his four-seam fastball, which also features high spin rates and riding action. He has upgraded his low-80s changeup with tumble and will use it against lefties and righties — some evaluators say it’s almost as good as his slider — and he can give hitters another look with an upper-70s curveball with nice shape.
Jobe repeats his easy delivery and provides plenty of strikes, and his athleticism and efficiency should allow him to remain in the rotation for the long term. He’s clearly a pitcher, though he also offers upside as a strong-armed shortstop with bat speed and power potential. He projects as an average hitter with similar speed and might play both ways if he attends college at Mississippi, where he’d be Draft-eligible as a sophomore in 2023. “
Ty Madden is a Junior at the University of Texas. He was MLB.com’s 9th best prospect but he fell all the way to the Tigers, potentially because of sign-ability concerns, at pick #32. The Tigers are expected to save bonus slot money from Jobe to be able to sign Madden, if that is the reason for the fall.
This is what MLB.com said of the power righty:
“Cypress Ranch High’s (Cypress, Texas) 2018 pitching staff featured senior Madden (a top-three-rounds talent who opted to attend Texas) and juniors J.J. Goss (a 2019 supplemental first-round pick by the Rays) and Matt Thompson (a 2019 second-rounder by the White Sox). Madden should go higher than either of them in 2021 because his stuff and command have continually improved in college. The Big 12 Conference pitcher of the year, he could become the first Longhorns hurler selected in the first 10 picks since Kevin Garner in 1987.
Madden topped out at 95 mph in high school and now operates at 93-96 with sink and bore on his fastball after reaching 99 mph during the fall. His best offering at Cypress Ranch was his slider, which has gained velocity and arrives in the mid-80s with late bite. His fading low-80s changeup gives him a solid third offering and he also can mix in an upper-70s curveball with depth but less consistency than his slider.
Madden added 35 pounds to his 6-foot-3 frame in college and the extra strength has helped him not only to improve his pitches but also to repeat his sound delivery more consistently. He walked just four batters in four starts last spring and scouts love the way he attacks hitters. He has the ingredients to become a frontline starter.”
With Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning presumably graduating to the majors, the Tigers pitching depth in their farm system was looking a little bare. These picks should help down the line, should they pan out.