High school baseball: Bingham's Brady Lail signs contract with New York Yankees
Brady Lail is officially a New York Yankee.
The recent Bingham High graduate was offered a $225,000 signing bonus — and up to an additional $135,000 for college — over lunch in Arizona on Saturday, and jumped at the chance to sign with the most storied franchise in baseball and forgo his scholarship offer at the University of Arizona.
"With them coming up with that figure, it makes me and my family as happy as could be. I couldn't be happier," said Lail, who was an 18th-round selection by the Yankees earlier this month.
Lail will officially sign with the Yankees on Monday and then report to the Yankees minor league affiliate in Tampa on Wednesday.
"I'm planning on getting bigger and stronger, hopefully to grow an inch or two and put on some weight. I'm real skinny," said Lail about his goals in the coming years in the minor leagues. "Get consistent with my velocity, be above 90. I just want to mature through organization and be a great young man."
Lail pitched for the Utah Marshalls in Arizona on Friday, the first time the Yankees had seen him pitch since the draft. Without the strain of playing shortstop every other day like he did in high school, Lail said he was fresh for his pitching outing and consistently threw around 91 to 92 mph, hitting a high of 94.
The Marshalls lost 7-4, but Lail said it was tough to overcome seven errors.
Following the game on Friday, Lail went to lunch with Yankees personnel at Monti's, a steak house in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday where they officially presented their offer.
"They put up an offer that was higher than the fifth-round guy, there was no hesitations," said Lail, a multi-sport athlete who was also Bingham's starting quarterback last fall.
Nine rounds before the Yankees officially selected him in the 18th round, both the Yankees and Oakland Athletics called Lail and offered him ninth-round signing bonus money. He just didn't feel comfortably bypassing a college scholarship for the figure they presented and kindly said, "no thanks."
A day later on the final day of the MLB draft, the Yankees selected Lail anyway and said they'd do whatever it took to sign him.
They made good on that promise, and on Monday Lail will officially sign with his older brother's favorite team. Ironically enough, Lail grew up a New York Mets fan, but he's excited to be in pinstripes now.
"It's the New York Yankees. It's the team of all baseball. Ever since you picked up a baseball you've heard of the Yankees," said Lail, who finished with a 9-3 record his senior year. "I'm just loving that they gave me an opportunity to be in the same organization of some of the greats that have come before me."
MLB scouts have always loved Lail's command and how he takes control of the game as a starting pitcher. His fastball has been clocked at 94 mph, but in high school he was consistently around 89-91 as he tried 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.