The New York Yankees drafted right-handed starter Brady Lail in the 18th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft from Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. Lail, now 23, has pitched as high as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the Yankees organization.
Lail joined the Gulf Coast League Yankees after officially signing with the team on July 6, 2012. While pitching out of the bullpen in the GCL, Lail put up some impressive numbers.
Though Lail only appeared in five games the righty pitched 12.2 innings, allowing just eight hits and striking out ten batters. He compiled an ERA of 1.42 with his only two earned runs scoring in his last appearance on August 20th.
Lail picked up his first professional win on August 15th against the GCL Braves while pitching three scoreless frames and striking out one.
The 2013 campaign started off with Lail being assigned to Advanced A-Tampa. This move was in preparation to the organization waiting for the GCL to begin. Lail pitched just three innings in Tampa and gave up three runs while allowing eight hits. He was then sent back down to the GCL, where he pitched for the majority of the season.
Now a full-time starter, Lail pitched in 12 games for the GCL Yankees and asserted himself as a force with a 2.33 ERA. He also saw his strikeouts rise in 2013. His high strikeout mark came on July 5th against the GCL Tigers, where he struck out seven batters over five innings of two-hit ball.
His best outings came towards the end of the year, which were also his last three starts in the GCL in the 2013 season. During those last three starts in August, Lail pitched 15.2 innings, allowing two runs, on eight hits, and striking out 18. (six in each game).
On August 30th Lail made his final start of the season for Tampa and picked up the win against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
Lail finished the 2013 year 5-1, throwing 61.2 innings, while allowing 53 hits, and pitching to a .99 WHIP, and a 2.92 ERA combined between the two levels.
In 2014 Lail spent the portion of his season in A-Ball with the Charleston RiverDogs. During his 18 starts with the RiverDogs, the right-hander threw 97 innings and struck out 95 batters, while having a 3.71 ERA. He was also named to the All-Star Game.
Charleston proved to be a challenge for Lail, but he did have a few solid stretches. On April 29th against the Augusta Green Jackets, he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out three. A few starts later against the Hickory Crawdads, Lail struck out a career-high 11 batters.
From April 23rd to May 23rd, Lail strung together six straight wins lowering his ERA from 5.49 to 3.14. He gave up a total of seven runs over 34 innings pitched while striking out 36 would be batters.
That stretch would be the highlight of the 2014 season for Lail on the mound. Later in the year, Lail would get the always desired promotion to the next level, which was Advanced A-Tampa where he made six starts. The day after his July 23rd start, Lail found himself on the 10-day disabled list. He did not pitch again until August 7th.
Lail finished the 2014 marathon with a solid start against the Dayton Cubs. He fired six two-hit shutout innings while racking up seven strikeouts and earning the win. He finished the year in Tampa throwing 37.1 innings with a 3.38 ERA.
Lail started 2015 in Tampa but was there for just one start. He then was promoted to Double-A Trenton and put up fantastic numbers. Lail appeared in 20 games—starting 19, and pitched to a 6-4 record, with 2.45 ERA over 106.1 innings, tallying up 63 strikeouts, and a 1.10 WHIP which is the best mark in his career over an extended period at one level.
On May 11th, Lail found himself on the ground after he was struck in the head with a line drive just seven pitches into his start against the Portland Sea Dogs. Lail left the game on his power and made his next start on May 16th.
On July 25th, Lail put together the best outing of his career with a two-hit complete game shutout against the Binghamton Mets. He struck out just four put pounded the strike zone, throwing 79 of 108 pitches for strikes.
After one more start in Trenton, Lail found himself being promoted to Triple-A and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on August 4th. Lail had a rough stint in SWB and finished with a 3-2 record, but his ERA inflated to 4.62 and his WHIP jumped to 1.70, over his seven starts.
Lail officially caught the eyes of the Yankees brass and was a non-roster invite to Major League spring training. Even though he was invited to big league camp, he was still sent back to Trenton where he would start five games.
Lail pitched well enough in Trenton that he was once again promoted to SWB on May 7th, but his second go around with Scranton did not go as well as he hoped. On May 15th he was put on the disabled list with an oblique injury, which is an injury a baseball player never wants to hear that they have. That injury kept Lail out for just over a month.
Lail eventually finished the season with SWB but performed poorly. He finished the year 7-6 with a 5.07 ERA. If there were a bright spot for Brady Lail during his time with the 2016 RailRiders, it would have been in the playoffs. In his two starts, he finished 1-0 with a 0.87 ERA over 10.1 innings.
The Yankees obviously see something in Brady, he pitched well enough at the lower levels to find himself with an opportunity to keep moving up the ranks. However, Lail has not been able to conquer Triple-A baseball quite yet. You will not hear his name talked up as much as Luis Severino, James Kaprielian, or Justus Sheffield, but he is someone in that next tier. Lail is not someone who the Yankees organization looks at as a top of the rotation guy, but there would be no surprise if he made it as a four or five starter with more seasoning. He will pitch most of this upcoming season at 23 years old, so he is still young enough to be able to make an impact at some time shortly.
Lail is a pitcher in the same mold as Adam Warren or David Phelps. Someone who does not overpower you with his fastball but can locate it well and mix in his off-speed pitches to get outs. His fastball usually sits in the low-90s but has gotten it up to 94 MPH at times. He compliments it with a changeup, slider and curveball.
Lail has again been invited to camp as a non-roster invitee. He will not be in the competition for the last two spots in the Yankees rotation, so you will once again find him in Scranton. If Lail puts together a solid season, he may be able to find his way onto the roster in September. Remember, he is not on the 40-man roster, so that makes it difficult for the Yankees to bring him up without the possibly of losing someone that they covet more.