2015 MLB Draft Non-Scouting Report: Tyler Jay – LHP – Illinois

 

 
2015 MLB Draft Prospect: Tyler Jay – LHP – Illinois. 6’1″ 185. Class: Junior. DOB: 4.19.94. Last Drafted: Never
In addition to staring on the diamond, Jay played receiver, punter and returned kicks for Lemont (Ill.) HS.  Undrafted out of high school, Jay has been a key part of the Illini bullpen since his freshman year but he vaulted himself into the first round discussion with a stellar stint with Team USA last summer where he put up a season line of 2-0, 0.00 ERA, and 21 K in just 16.2 IP.
Jay has continued his dominance this season, posting a 0.60 ERA, good for second best in the nation.  There’s a lack of consensus on whether Jay, who has just one career college start, will be used as a starter or a reliever as a pro.  There’s more value in a left-handed starter, but if he stays in the pen, he could be fast tracked to the majors.
 
 
Statistics *through 6.4.15
YEAR
CLASS
W-L
ERA
G
S
IP
H
K
BB
2013
Fr. 
1-3
3.10
18
0
20.1
11
20
10
2014
So. 
4-1
1.94
23
10
41.2
28
47
13
2015
Jr.
5-1
0.60
29
14
60.1
30
70
7
It’s important to note that I’m not a scout.  I don’t have the training or expertise that they do.  None of that is going to stop me from sharing my thoughts on the player.
REPERTOIRE:
Fastball:  Jay sits at 93-95 mph and can run it up to 98 mph.
Slider:  Jay’s primary secondary pitch is a wipeout slider at 85-87 mph.
Curveball:  Jay has flashed a “get me over” curve at 79-80 mph but he will also throw the ball down in the zone as an out pitch.
Changeup:  This isn’t a pitch that Jay will typically use in shorter appearances as the need generally hasn’t been there when going through the lineup one time.
DELIVERY
Though not a big guy, Jay can consistently bump a mid 90’s fastball without a particularly taxing delivery as his premium velocity is generated more by superior arm action than effort.  The release is a true 3/4, yet he finishes north/south without falling off to the third base side.
FUTURE
To start or to relieve?  Less than 48 hours before the draft, Jay is projected to go off the board within the top 5 overall picks.  I firmly believe that an MLB team won’t spend that high of a pick on a pitcher unless they believe he can start. The last true relief pitcher to land in the top 10 picks was Drew Storen (10th) when the Nationals used their second first rounder on him.  Storen wasn’t near the 10th ranked talent in that draft, however they drafted Steven Strasburg at #1 overall which cost them $7.5 Million, so they went under slot at #10 and signed Storen for $1.6 Million.
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