Ranking the Minnesota Twins First Round Picks of the Last Decade
By Kasey Kuhrts
From 2010-2019, the Minnesota Twins made ten first round draft selections, but only one of those players has played more than 23 MLB games with the Twins.
Although half of our list still has a chance to make an impact for the Minnesota Twins in the coming years, it is very fair to say the Twins have missed more times than not in the last ten years. Here is our list, going from the worst, to the best.
Number 10: Minnesota Twins select Tyler Jay 6th Overall in 2015
Tyler Jay comes in as our worst first round selection from the Minnesota Twins in the last decade. Coming out of the University of Illinois, it seems baffling why the Twins would spend such a high draft choice on a relief pitcher.
Jay was a do-it-all guy at Illinois, he started, he pitched middle relief, and he closed. He finished his final year at Illinois with a 1.08 ERA, a 5-2 record, and 76 strikeouts in only 66.2 innings pitched.
After being selected by the Twins, Jay spent his first year in the Florida State League, pitching only out of the bullpen. During the offseason, the Twins decided they wanted to make Jay into a starter, which was odd since he only started two games out of his 71 appearances in college.
After pitching to a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts in the FSL, Jay was moved up to AA Chattanooga, where he would start two more games, and pitch In relief three times before the end of the 2016 season.
In 2017, Jay pitched in three different leagues as a member of the Twins, but only pitched in eight games due injury that forced him into Tommy John surgery. After the surgery, Jay was never the same. He pitched only in AA in the 2018 season, and finished with a 4.33 ERA.
Jay started the 2019 season once again in AA, but was traded to the Reds exactly one year ago today, June 10th, and was released by the Reds last week. Jay never played a game in the MLB with the Twins or the Reds.
What could have been if the Minnesota Twins didn’t select Tyler Jay? The very next pick in the draft was Andrew Benintendi. The next left-handed pitcher taken was Kolby Allard with the 14th selection. But the ideal pick, Walker Buehler was selected 24th.
And although any of those selections would have been nice, the question still remains, why do you select a relief pitcher at six?