Illinois pitcher Tyler Jay has been drafted sixth overall in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Jay is the highest draft pick in Fighting Illini history and, along with John Ericks in 1988, he's now just the second player to be taken in the first round.
At 6'1 and 185 pounds, Jay was the most talented LHP in the entire draft. During the 2015 season, he was named a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American after posting a career-high and school record 14 saves in 60.1 innings of work. The Big Ten Pitcher of the Year also tossed an incredible 70 strikeouts (7 walks) while posting the nation's second-best ERA (0.60).
From an actual pitching standpoint, Jay's biggest asset is his 95-97 MPH fastball. When combined with a nasty slider, hitters don't stand much of a chance--especially in late inning situations. Jay has also displayed the ability to throw an above-average curveball and changeup.
Depending on how things go there's a chance that Jay can make some appearances out of the Twins' bullpen this season, but he may not be staying in that role for long. Jay was used almost exclusively as a reliever and closer throughout his Illini career, but professional scouts believe he has a future as a starting pitcher.
Jay going No. 6 overall is somewhat of a surprise because it's slightly lower than most experts had expected. Regardless, Minnesota fans can rest assured knowing that they're getting one of the draft's best prospects.