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Thursday, June 1, 2023

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Extra year led SDSU right hander Troy Melton to a major league contract and bachelor’s degree. Extra year led SDSU right hander Troy Melton to a major league contract and bachelor’s degree.

Business School Change Up: Aztec Earns Diploma, Then Gets MLB Call

Righty Troy Melton missed the ‘21 MLB draft but now has a marketing degree under his Tigers baseball belt.
By Suzanne Finch

In 2021, Troy Melton (’22, marketing) thought he might have to leave San Diego State University to jump at a once-in-lifetime opportunity. 

Melton, a right-handed pitcher for the Aztecs, was MLB draft eligible as a junior last year,  hoping  for that once-in-a-lifetime call with an offer that would lead to a multimillion-dollar rookie contract with a signing bonus. 

The call never came. 

But it wasn’t the end of Melton’s big league dreams. He went back to SDSU to work on his game and to continue pursuing his undergraduate degree. His return to the Aztecs resulted in improved stats (a 2.07 ERA and 5-2 record vs. a 6.14 ERA and 4–5 record for 2021), and increased his chances for snagging a better contract for the 2022 draft. 

By 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 got the call he was waiting for from the Detroit Tigers letting him know that he’d been selected as a fourth-round draft pick. He headed off to the teams’ training facility in Lakeland, Florida the very next day. 

Melton said he planned to earn his B.S.either way. 

“MLB has a really good program that pays for the remainder of your schooling if you are drafted before you can 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 the schedule conflicts, but I would have found a way to get my degree from San Diego State. That was important to me.”

Good Fit

Melton chose to earn a marketing degree from SDSU “partially because SDSU has a good business department and partially because it’s a versatile degree to have,” he said. “Plus, marketing was the business program that fit my personality and interests the best.” 

Though Melton won’t be entering his chosen field of marketing right away, he noted many of the skills he learned in the classroom transition on to the baseball field as well. 

“Time management, hard work, focus, and a devotion to doing things the right way at all times easily translates onto the field,” said Melton, a two-time member of the Mountain West All-Academic Team. “I’ve always been a big believer in taking care of all the details in my life, so getting things done in the classroom was a big priority for me.” 

While he is hoping for a long and successful career as a professional athlete, Melton knows that those days will eventually come to an end while he is a relatively young man. But with his marketing degree in hand, he will be ready for that inevitable conclusion.

“I am proud to have earned my degree before I was signed by the Tigers,” said Melton. “It’s something I can say that I’ve earned and I will be ahead of a lot of my baseball peers once our playing careers are over. It really symbolizes a lot of the hard work and time I’ve devoted to academics. And no one can take that away from me.”