June 9, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After being selected by the Detroit Tigers on Saturday in the MLB Draft, Tennessee infielder Will Maddox has signed with the club. Maddox played in 160 games as a Vol over three seasons, hitting .309.
"The time at Tennessee has been the greatest time of my life," said Maddox. "Coach Serrano, his staff and my teammates have meant more to me than I could ever put into words.
"My dream is to play professional baseball and I have been granted that opportunity. I am going to do whatever it takes to make my dream come true and feel that it is in my best interest to begin my journey. This is the hardest decision I have ever made in my life because of the great love I have for this university. I want to thank all of our fans and everyone that has ever supported me along the way. I am a VFL and that will never change."
Head coach Dave Serrano wished Maddox the best of luck and thanked him for three passionate years as a Vol.
"As hard as it is to see Will move on to the Tigers I know it's what he has wanted to do for a long time," said Serrano. "We will miss the passion and energy he brought each and every day to the field."
Maddox was selected in the 18th round of the draft with the 550th overall selection as a third baseman.
Maddox was a mainstay in the Vols' lineup for the last three years, starting 157 of 160 games at a variety of positions. In his three campaigns, he hit a combined .309 with a .399 on-base percentage. He had 190 career hits and scored 113 runs. Maddox hit five homers and drove in 60 runs. He had stolen 60 bases on 77 attempts.
As a junior in 2014, Maddox hit .297 with three home runs and 21 RBIs with 24 stolen bases. He was named SEC Player of the Week after hitting .625 (5-for-8) and slugging 1.250 over a series sweep of Quinnipiac (Feb. 28-March 2, 2014).
Never moving out of the top three spots in the order, Maddox hit .333 in 2013. He had a team high in at-bats (207), hits (69), runs scored (42), hit by pitch (12), stolen bases (22) and stolen base attempts (27). He also led UT with 23 multi-hit games, including a team-high seven three-hit efforts.
In 2012, Maddox earned 2012 SEC All-Freshman Team honors after becoming just the third freshman since 1980 to lead Tennessee in batting average (Chris Burke 1999, Kentrail Davis 2008). He hit .297 for the year with team highs in hits (63), runs scored (32), total bases (79), stolen bases (14), at-bats (212) and on-base percentage (.374).
It is unknown which affiliate in the Tigers' system Maddox will begin his pro career with. They have Single-A teams in the Gulf Coast League (GCL Tigers), the New York Penn League (Connecticut Tigers), Midwest League (West Michigan Whitecaps) and Florida State League (Lakeland Flying Tigers).