Brady Lail grew up a New York Mets fan, but following Wednesday's Major League Baseball draft, he might soon be shifting his allegiance to the crosstown pinstripes of the New York Yankees.
The Bingham High right-handed pitcher was an 18th-round selection by the Yankees, the 577th player taken overall in the three-day Major League Baseball draft.
The selection came as a surprise considering he had turned down a potential selection in the ninth round by the Yankees the day before.
After being notified, he immediately tweeted out, "I just got drafted by the New York Yankees!!"
It was just another development in a whirlwind couple of days for the Bingham two-sport star.
After anxiously following the MLB draft on his computer Tuesday, Lail's cellphone finally rang around the ninth round — several rounds later than he was expecting. Both the New York Yankees and Oakland A's called to express their interest in drafting him in the ninth round.
Neither team mentioned a specific signing bonus figure, but Lail knew in the ninth round the standard signing bonus would be around $250,000. Lail went into the draft thinking that unless he received a signing bonus of $400,000 or more, he'd stick with his original plan of accepting a college scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arizona.
Although flattered by the ninth-round offers by the Yankees and A's, Lail kindly turned them down.
Like any kid with high expectations, Lail went to bed Tuesday night frustrated by the developments.
"I was getting so much hype during the season, so what really made me disappointed was I didn't get a call until the ninth round. It kind of made me anxious, and had me wondering what I did," said Lail. "I was kind of upset that I wasn't considered earlier in the draft."
After the events of the previous day, Lail wasn't paying much attention when the MLB draft resumed on Wednesday for rounds 16 through 40.
That changed shortly after 11 a.m. when he got a call from the Yankees' area scout.
"They called and said, 'We drafted you, and we'll do whatever we have to do to make you a Yankee,' " said Lail.
He's wavering with his college/pro decision. Who wouldn't when the New York Yankees are involved?
Now, it's all about the signing bonus. Lail already turned down a roughly $250,000 bonus, and he'll do it again if he and the Yankees can't come to terms on a larger deal in the next couple of weeks. If they reach a happy medium on the dollar figure, Lail is ready to forgo his college scholarship and head to Florida to begin play with the Yankees' rookie team in the Gulf Coast League.
It would be an exciting change for a player who just wrapped his senior season with the Bingham Miners, finishing with a 9-3 record.
Even though Lail played shortstop and pitcher in high school, the mound is where he'll make his home at the next level.
MLB scouts really love his command and how he takes control of the game as a starting pitcher. His fastball has been clocked at 94 mph, but he's consistently around 89-91 as he tries to keep hitters off balance along with his knuckle curve.
Lail said he expects that knuckle curve will evolve into a slider at the next level, whether it's in Arizona blue or Yankee pinstripes.
Lail was one of two Bingham players selected on the final day of the draft. Teammate Connor Williams, who has signed with the University of Utah, was selected in the 36th round (1,099th overall) by the Oakland A's.
Spanish Fork's Kayden Porter was a projected second-day selection. However, when he wasn't drafted in the first 10 rounds, no one bothered touching him in the final 30 rounds, knowing they wouldn't be able to sign him.
All along, Porter has said if the offer wasn't right, he had no problem fulfilling his commitment to play college baseball at the University of North Carolina.
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