Draft profile: Tyler Jay
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***
Name: Tyler Jay
Rank on Draft Top 100: 9
Bats: L Throws: L
Height: 6'1" Weight: 175 lbs.
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
Jay is expected to be the highest drafted player in Illinois history. He went from a relatively unknown lanky left-handed prospect from the state of Illinois in 2012 to one of the nation's best college pitchers as a member of the Fighting Illini. A dominant closer in the Big Ten, many argue he is the school's best hurler since former Major Leaguer Ken Holtzman. A semifinalist for this year's Gold Spikes Award, Jay has strong control, above average swing-and-miss ability and knows how to keep hitters in the ballpark.
MLB comp: Billy Wagner
Fun fact: He typically runs to the mound for relief duty to a mix of metal songs from bands like Metallica and Black Sabbath.
He said it: "I have the mentality that I don't give up any runs. I have this overall thing that it's not going to happen. I'm realistic -- I know hits and runs do happen, but it's about going after guys. It's just having the confidence in yourself."
They said it: "He's an effective closer, but I think he could be one of the best starters in the nation. To me, he looks like a big league starter, and I've never seen a big league guy look like that for how he executes his pitches."
-- Illinois pitching coach Drew Dickinson