Puckett’s Pond presents our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects. At #4 is Tyler Jay
Honorable Mentions #20: Travis Blankenhorn
#19: Wander Javier #18: Stuart Turner #17: Jermaine Palacios
#16: Mason Melotakis #15: Jake Reed #14: Taylor Rogers
#13: Lewis Thorpe #12: J.T. Chargois #11: Adam Brett Walker
#10: Alex Meyer #9: Nick Burdi #8: Kohl Stewart
#7: Stephen Gonsalves #6: Nick Gordon #5: Jorge Polanco
Tyler Jay is the highest ranked of the Minnesota Twins’ abundant relief prospects. There has also been talk of converting him to a starter but Jay seems more destined for the back end of the bullpen. Jay is the type of relief arm the Twins have been coveting this offseason. He’s a lefty with a high whiff rate.
Name: Tyler Jay
Position: RP/SP Age: 21
Height: 6’1” Age: 180 lbs.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Acquired: 6th Overall in the first round of the 2015 amateur draft
Aside from a stint with the U.S National team, Jay has been a bullpen arm his entire collegiate career. He was the University of Illinois’ closer in his sophomore and junior seasons. Jay often worked multiple innings to finish off games. That and the fact that he’s possesses a variety of good pitches are the reasons why he’s being viewed as a potential starter in spite of his lack of experience.
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Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline had the following to say about Jay (Jay is 5th on Mayo’s list):
“Jay has the repertoire and the command to be a starter, and that’s how Minnesota plans to develop him. He could have at least four Major League average pitches with above-average control when all is said and done. The transition to starting might slow Jay’s progress a bit, but it’s also nice to know that if it doesn’t work, he could have an impact in the bullpen in a hurry.”
Jay throws his fastball in the mid 90’s. His fastball and curveball are rated highly, as is his control.
After Jay was drafted, he was assigned to Fort Myers. With the Lookouts he had a 3.93 ERA, 1.418 WHIP, 10.8 K/9 and allowed no home runs over 18.1 innings. Those numbers aren’t amazing but it was Jay’s first taste of professional ball and a small sample. With Jay’s reputed command, expect his 3.9 BB/9 in 2015 to decrease.
Jay is a pitcher, not a thrower. He doesn’t just attempt to blow the batter away. He can locate even when he brings the heat. With two plus pitches and plus command, Jay is very likely to reach his potential as a high leverage reliever. Also possessing two other good pitches, Jay could also be molded into a mid-rotation starter. But, Jay’s experience is as a reliever and it may be wiser to not fix what ain’t broke. Jay’s first full season in the Twins’ organization will tell us much about what his future holds.