Puckett’s Pond Minnesota Twins Top 20 Prospects: 11-15

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CHICAGO - APRIL 09: A bat, glove and ball rest on the field before the Chicago Cubs' home opening game against the Houston Astros on April 9, 2007 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - APRIL 09: A bat, glove and ball rest on the field before the Chicago Cubs' home opening game against the Houston Astros on April 9, 2007 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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15. Tyler Jay, LHP, 23 years old

Jay was a reliever for his first two years at Illinois and considered a likely 4th or 5th round talent purely out of the bullpen for the Illini before moving to the rotation in 2015 and jumping up draft boards to become the #5 overall pick to the Minnesota Twins.

Jay is a power-throwing lefty with a fastball that can hit 97 and sits in the 91-94 range as a starter. He also has a slider that is a plus pitch that played down significantly as a starter, but showed a lot more bite as a reliever in college and in short stints with the Twins.

The decision was made over the offseason to move Jay to the bullpen on a full-time basis, which could seem like a failed #5 overall pick until you consider the way that relievers are valued in the current game, especially those with Jay’s dynamite stuff that could work in multiple innings, a la Andrew Miller with the Indians in 2016.

While moving to the bullpen, Jay struggled with soreness that was eventually diagnosed at the beginning of the month as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Jay will have surgery and miss the rest of 2017. Hopefully he can get back on the hill in 2018 and join the bullpen as a dynamic arm out of the bullpen.

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