Righty Troy Melton missed the ’21 MLB draft, but now has a marketing degree under his Tigers baseball belt.
In 2021, Troy Melton (’22, marketing) thought he might have to leave San Diego State University to jump on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Melton, a right-handed pitcher for the Aztecs, was eligible for the MLB draft as a junior last year, hoping for that once-in-a-lifetime call with an offer that would lead to a multimillion-dollar entry-level contract with a signing bonus.
The call never came.
Remaining in school, Melton completed his marketing degree from SDSU’s Fowler College of Business in May 2022. Two months later, on July 18, Melton received the call he had been waiting for from the Detroit Tigers letting them know he had been selected as a fourth-round draft pick. He left for the teams training facility in Lakeland, Florida the next day.
Melton said he planned to win the BS either way.
“MLB has a really good program that pays for the rest of your tuition if you’re drafted before you finish your degree,” said Melton, the only Aztec selected in this year’s draft. “Had I left last year, it certainly would have taken me longer because of scheduling conflicts, but I would have found a way to get my degree from San Diego State. That was important to me.”
Melton chose to earn a marketing degree from SDSU “partly because SDSU has a good business department and partly because it’s a versatile degree to have,” he said. “Plus, marketing was the business program that best suited my personality and interests.”
Although Melton won’t jump right into his chosen field of marketing, he noted many of the skills he learned while transitioning from the classroom to the baseball field.
While he hopes for a long and successful career as a professional athlete, Melton knows those days will eventually come to an end while he is still a relatively young man. But with his marketing degree in hand, he’ll be ready for that inevitable conclusion.
“I’m proud to have earned my degree before signing with the Tigers,” Melton said. “It’s something I can say I’ve earned and will be ahead of many of my baseball peers once our playing careers are over. It really symbolizes a lot of the hard work and time I put into academics. And no one can take that away from me.”