The Twins used the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Jay, who starred as a reliever at the University of Illinois. At the time Minnesota selected him, there was plenty of optimism Jay would continue to thrive in the majors as either a reliever or starter. But injuries – including to Jay’s shoulder and neck – have helped derail his career since he entered the professional ranks.
The 25-year-old Jay hasn’t yet ascended past the Double-A level, where he has pitched since 2017 and owns a 4.60 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 103 2/3 innings. While assessing the Twins’ prospects this past April, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs wrote Jay remains “a multi-pitch lefty with average stuff, and that seems rosterable.” The Twins disagreed, even after all they invested in Jay, leaving the Reds to hope he’ll one day realize some of his vast potential in their uniform.