Scouting Padres Prospect #57: John Madden

After winning All-SEC honors as a closer with the Auburn Tigers, John Madden was selected in the eighth round of the 2005 Draft by the Padres.

After a senior season where he allowed six extra base hits in 76.2 innings and boasted a 1.64 ERA – a conference best – John Madden was placed with the Eugene Emeralds, a short-season affiliate in the Northwest League.

Madden was thrust into a setup role with the Ems and had bouts of inconsistency as the bridge to the closer. He allowed runs in 14 of his 38 appearances, or 38 percent. In eight of those games he gave up two runs or more.

"John Madden did really well in the Instructional League," minor league field coordinator Bill Bryk said. "He had an inconsistent arm slot. The first year we really don't mess with the guys but we really didn't know what his true arm slot was because he would throw three-quarters and sidearm. We like him at three-quarters. I am optimistic based on what I saw in the Instructional League."

Madden boasted a 3.27 ERA in the Instructional League with 12 K's and four walks in 11 innings.

"I throw a 2-seam fastball, a 4-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup," Madden explained. "I'd say that my 2-seam fastball is my best pitch."

When he was on, Madden was really on. In 41.1 innings, the right-hander whiffed 55 while walking just 17. He struck out the side on five different occasions and was downright nasty to righties, whiffing nearly half of the batters that faced him, 43-of-93.

His struggles with lefties, however, bear watching. Lefties hit .380 off him where righties batted .203. Taking it further, he allowed just one extra base hit in 93 at bats to right-handed hitters and nine extra base hits in 79 at bats to left-handed batters.

"It was that arm angle," said Bryk.

His work with runners in scoring position during the year was not inspiring as hitters slugged .316 off him but he did limit them to five hits in 30 at bats with RISP and two outs.

Madden ended up closing games down the stretch for Eugene and earned five saves in seven chances. He actually projects as a closer in the minors and will likely land in that role more often moving forward.

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