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The Arizona Dbacks own the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft. It takes place on June 8th and could be the birthdate of a new generation for the Diamondbacks. A few days ago, we highlighted Dansby Swanson, the Vanderbilt shortstop. Today we begin with some pitching. We’re talking about something of a rare selection. Ok, it’s a closer.
Tyler Jay would be an interesting choice with the #1 pick. Jay has the potential to be a starter in the professional level, but has spent his entire collegiate career as a reliever. Jay’s path to the majors would be fast tracked if he stays in the bullpen, especially in the Dbacks organization. Arizona’s bullpen has been erratic at times and they don’t have a stable option at the closer’s position in the future.
As shown above, Jay is starting to get on the radar of some MLB teams. The 21-year old is a southpaw from the University of Illinois. Jay had a decent Freshman season as he went 1-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 18 appearances. He transitioned as the Fighting Illini closer during his Sophomore season when he notched 10 saves. He posted a dazzling 1.94 ERA that season.
This season, as a Junior, Jay has only further stepped up his game. Jay appeared in 28 games and converted 13 saves. His unreal 0.64 ERA is ranked 2nd in the nation. Jay also ranks in the Top 10 nationally in strikeout-to-walk ratio and hits/walks per inning. In his 118 1/3 career collegiate innings, Jay has piled up 132 strikeouts. The reliever’s career ERA is an impressive 1.52.
Illinois will host their own regional and will be favored to advance over Ohio, Wright State, and Notre Dame. That means that Tyler Jay will receive a dose of national spotlight and we all would be wise to get to know him. After all, he could be closing down games in the desert in a couple of years.
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