The Twins and No. 6 overall pick Tyler Jay are in agreement on a full-slot bonus of $3,889,500, reports Jim Callis of MLB.com (Twitter link). Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN first tweeted that Jay was at Target Field in Minneapolis and was scheduled to meet with the media shortly. Jay, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Illinois, is represented by Scott Leventhal of All Bases Covered Sports Management.
Jay spent his college career as a relief pitcher, but he ranked near the top of the draft class because most scouts believe that he has the mix of pitches necessary to become a starting pitcher in the Majors. Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs rated Jay as the sixth-best prospect in the draft, while Jay rated ninth on the lists of MLB.com (Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo) and ESPN (Keith Law). Baseball America ranked Jay as the No. 13 prospect in the draft.
McDaniel ranked Jay second among all pitchers in this year’s class, writing that he flashes three plus pitches and held his velocity well in multi-inning relief stints. McDaniel feels that Jay could feature three 60-grade (or better) pitches in the future. Law notes that Jay could end up in the middle of a big league rotation and has four pitches, though he figures to be a three-pitch guy in pro ball. MLB.com has Jay’s velocity in the 93-95 mph range and topping out at 98. Callis and Mayo prefer Jay’s slider to his curve. BA clocks Jay’s slider in the low 80s and notes that some scouts have given it “wipeout” designation.
Jay will pitch as a reliever in 2015, according to GM Terry Ryan (via MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger on Twitter), though the expectation is, of course, that he will eventually move to the rotation. In response to that, Callis tweets that Jay could very well follow in the footsteps of Chris Sale and Brandon Finnegan, emerging as a late-season relief option for his club in the same season that he’s drafted. Jay will begin his career at Fort Myers in the Class-A Advanced Florida State League, per Ryan.