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Former Cy Ranch standouts among top 32 picks in 2021 MLB Draft

Cy Ranch 2018 graduates Colton Cowser and Ty Madden were both selected in the MLB draft.
Cypress Ranch High School 2018 graduates Ty Madden, seated left, and Colton Cowser, seated right, conduct an interview with the MLB Network after each was selected on the first day of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. The two held a draft watch party with family and friends on July 11 a Creekwood Grill. Cowser was selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Orioles, while Madden was picked 32nd overall by the Detroit Tigers.

July 15, 2021—Cypress Ranch High School 2018 graduates Colton Cowser and Ty Madden were both selected on the first day of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, which included Cowser tying the mark as the highest draft pick in CFISD history.

Cowser was selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Orioles, while Madden was picked 32nd overall by the Detroit Tigers. The two gathered with family and friends on July 11 at Creekwood Grill to watch the MLB draft.

“It’s an honor,” said Cowser, an outfielder at Sam Houston State University who became the highest draft pick in baseball program and Southland Conference history. “It’s awesome that the Baltimore Orioles believe in me and believe that I have the skillset to contribute to their organization eventually.”

Said Madden, a right-handed pitcher for the University of Texas and the program’s highest selection since 2011: “This is amazing. I can’t thank the Tigers organization enough for giving me this opportunity. Let’s roll.”

Former Cypress Ranch High School baseball standout Colton Cowser speaks with reporters after he was selected.
Former Cypress Ranch High School baseball standout Colton Cowser speaks with reporters after he was selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft on July 11. Cowser, who wasn’t drafted coming out of Cypress Ranch in 2018, became an instant star at Sam Houston State University and is the highest draft pick in the baseball program and Southland Conference’s history.

As seniors at Cypress Ranch, Cowser and Madden helped lead the Mustangs to the 2018 Class 6A state semifinals.

Cowser became an instant star at Sam Houston State University and one of the most decorated players in program history. He was named a Freshman All-American in 2019 and the Southland Conference Hitter of the Year. He then earned a spot on the Collegiate National Team that summer and was named MVP of the United States vs. Cuba Friendship series. 

In 2021, Cowser ranked in the top five in the Southland Conference in batting average (.374), runs (61), hits (76), home runs (16), RBI (52) and walks (42). He was the conference’s Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year.

“For this to be a reality now, it just tells a lot about how hard I’ve worked and how much my friends and family have believed in me,” said Cowser, who wasn’t drafted coming out of high school. “I’m very grateful for Sam Houston to give me the opportunity to get better and develop. I’m forever grateful for that.”

Madden was selected in the 43rd round (1,022nd overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2018 but elected to attend the University of Texas. He posted a 4-1 record as a freshman and compiled a 1.80 ERA in 25 innings as the Longhorns’ Saturday starting pitcher in 2020.

Former Cypress Ranch High School pitcher Ty Madden takes a phone call after being selected 32nd overall.
Former Cypress Ranch High School pitcher Ty Madden takes a phone call after being selected 32nd overall by the Detroit Tigers in the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. Madden was drafted in the 43rd round coming out of high school in 2018 but chose to attend the University the Texas where he developed into an All-American and the 2021 Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year.

As a junior, Madden struck out 137 batters, the most by a Longhorns’ pitcher since 2004. He held opponents to a .188 batting average and was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year and first team All-American by two organizations in helping lead the University of Texas to the College World Series.

“Going to school was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Madden said. “Back then I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. My time at Texas was the best time of my life and the way my game developed was unbelievable. I’m glad I made that decision three years ago.”

Cowser and Madden surpassed their Cypress Ranch teammates in becoming the first high school teammates selected this high in the draft in nearly 20 years. Former Mustangs J.J. Goss and Matthew Thompson were selected 36th and 45th, respectively, coming out of high school in the 2019 draft. A fifth former Cypress Ranch standout, catcher Jared Alvarez-Lopez, was also drafted in 2019.

In 2002, former Cypress Falls High School standout pitchers Clint Everts and Scott Kazmir were drafted fifth and 15th overall, respectively.

Cypress Ranch High School 2018 graduates Colton Cowser and Ty Madden hug.Cypress Ranch High School 2018 graduates Colton Cowser (blue top) and Ty Madden hug after hearing Madden’s name called during the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft. The longtime friends held a joint watch party July 11 at Creekwood Grill. Madden was picked 32nd overall by the Detroit Tigers, while Cowser was selected fifth overall by the Baltimore Orioles.

The 20-round draft concluded Tuesday. MLB organizations and drafted players other than those who have exhausted their college eligibility have until Aug. 1 to reach an agreement on contractual terms. Drafted high school graduates that don’t sign and attend four-year colleges aren’t eligible to be drafted again until after their junior year or they are at least 21 years old.

For Cowser and Madden, hearing their names fulfilled childhood dreams for the longtime friends. They shared a table in front of cameras during the evening, embracing in near exact fashion after their names were announced more than three hours apart. Following Madden’s announcement, the two were both interviewed together by MLB Network.

“We’ve been best friends since eighth grade and we’ve always talked—whether if it was in whiffle ball games or working out—about taking it to the next level and experiencing this together,” Madden said. “We went back and forth on whether to do this but I’m glad we did.”