Former first-round pick, Tyler Jay, was traded from the Minnesota Twins to the Cincinnati Reds. Jay’s career has been derailed by injury, but the Reds are hoping he returns to form.
Though we’ve yet to enter the “trade season”, the Cincinnati Reds have already made a move. No, it’s nothing earth-shattering, but the team did acquire a former first-round pick. Tyler Jay, the sixth overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, was acquired from the Minnesota Twins. Details of the deal are not yet known.
Jay was drafted by the Twins as a relief pitcher in the first-round of draft after a dominant season as the Fighting Illini’s closer at the University of Illinois. During his 2015 campaign, Jay recorded 14 saves, pitched 67 innings, struck out 76 batters and posted 1.08 ERA.
The left-hander was a two sport athlete in high school, playing both football and baseball. Jay was ranked as the Minnesota Twins No. 3 prospect as recent as 2016, but a failed experiment to transition Jay to a starter combined with a rash of injuries derailed his once promising career.
So far this season, the 25-year-old has spent time with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Cincinnati Reds former Double-A affiliate. Oddly enough, Jay will likely head to the Chattanooga Lookouts, which is where Jay spent a good part of last season. Chattanooga was Minnesota’s Double-A affiliate in 2018.
In 17 appearances this season, Tyler Jay has thrown 28 innings. He’s walked 19 batters and struck out 27. That type of strikeout to walk ratio will not cut it and it’s an area that Jay will likely have to improve upon as his professional career continues. Jay has a mixture of 4 different pitches, with a slider being his signature out-pitch.
What does this trade mean in the grand scheme of things? Not too much. It’s doubtful that the Cincinnati Reds gave up much to acquire Jay, so it’s a low-risk/ high-reward pickup if the southpaw can return to any semblance of what he was in college and early in his pro career.
The Reds currently have Amir Garrett, Zach Duke, and Wandy Peralta headlining the lefties in their bullpen. Cody Reed and Ian Krol are the team’s best options at Triple-A Louisville in terms of left-handed relievers.