Scouting Report: Brady Lail

Lail will be a Top 50 prospect real soon

The Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Brady Lail in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Bingham High School in Utah. He made just a few appearances with the Gulf Coast League Yankees this past season and pitched very well, but it was the huge strides the 19-year old made during Instructional League that has shown some glimpses of his significant long-term upside.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Brady Lail
Position: Pitcher
DOB: August 9, 1993
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I've learned a ton as long as I've been here already," Lail said. "I got some good experience, some great coaches, great players with me.

"I got to go down to the Dominican [Republic] too and I felt like everything we had been working during the season was clicking down there in the Dominican. I'm very happy with what I've accomplished in the first year."

As is the case with nearly every first-year pitcher, especially those coming out of high school, the bulk of his adaptation time was spent tweaking his mechanics. Specifically the Yankees had him work on being more one-directional towards home plate in his delivery and not throwing so much across his body.

"My arm was feeling ten times better [after the mechanical adjustments] and I felt a lot sharper with all of my pitches," he said. "I was just a lot more confident after tweaking that."

He made just five appearances with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, posting a 1.42 ERA and a five to one strikeout to walk ratio in his 12 2/3 innings. But it was during Instructs and Dominican Instructs in particular where he saw some quick advancements in his stuff and control.

"My command was great," he said. "I felt like I could throw any of my pitches in any count. I felt like my ball had great angle on it. It was living down in the zone.

"It wasn't missing up like it was in the summer, it was more down at the knees and had second life. I could throw any of them at any time, it was great."

He saw his big league average fastball begin to top out around 92-93 mph already, which is certainly a welcomed sight, but it was the drastic improvements to his changeup that really turned some heads.

"I have a little arm-side fade which I'm loving because it's the same as my two-seam [fastball]. My sinker is harder obviously so it throws the hitters off a little more.

"I'm happy with everything it's doing; it has that fade, I can command it very well, I can get people off-balance with it. I just feel the progress with that has been very, very, very good this year."

He worked on a lot of different areas in his game in a short period of time. Now that he has his mechanics working better, throwing his fastball with a bit more zip, and having a tone more confidence with his changeup, Lail feels better equipped to handle what will be his first full season coming up in 2013.

"I just want to get up there and have confidence," he said. "I gained 25 pounds in that little bit of time [after signing] after finally getting into a good lifting program so my body is maturing a bit better. I was throwing a bit harder than I was too.

"Right now I just want to do what I was taught this year and just go from there, have confidence and a nobody can stop me [mentality]. I honestly feel if I can have that mindset and I'm doing what I was doing in the Dominican that I can be very successful.

"I just want to keep doing what I've been doing. If I do what I did this year with the improvements that I made I'll be perfectly fine.

"I'll be sitting where they want me, maybe even a little higher than they want me, I'll have that confidence and mindset that I need, I'll keep growing and getting bigger hopefully, and just keep doing what I've been doing. That's all I need to do and stay healthy, and go from there," he concluded.

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

H

BB

SO

ERA

2012

GCL Yankees

1-0

0

12.2

8

2

10

1.42



Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Lail's current velocity levels are more big league average than anything, sitting mostly 89-91 mph with his sinking two-seam fastball and more in the 90-92 mph range with his four-seam fastball. A little Joey Maher-like with his sinker though, it shows good fade and some good control for such a young pitcher. He has already gotten physically stronger in a short period of time, adding nearly 25 pounds since he first signed, and there's room to fill out even more, suggesting he could throw even harder down the road.

Other Pitches. Lail's bread and butter secondary pitch is technically a power knuckle-curveball that serves as his main strikeout pitch. It's more of a slurvy pitch, however, one that dives both down and away from right-handed batters in almost a slider-like fashion. It doesn't get true 12-to-6 action. It's an above average pitch right now that has plus potential. His changeup has a come a very long way in a short period of time, going from nearly non-existent to an average big league offering in less than a couple of months. There's no telling how far it could continue to develop though as he continues to get a better feel for it.

Pitching. Lail is a bit of a rarity for such a young pitcher because he has the mentality to pitch to contact earlier in the counts with his sinking fastball-changeup combination, but is also well equipped to go for the kill with his curveball when he gets ahead in the count. He shows an ability to make quick adjustments, not only in his game but with his surroundings too. He adapts very well. Like most young pitchers, however, he's only as good as his mechanics and he still has a lot to learn with the nuances of fielding his position and holding runners.

Projection. Lail has significant upside. As of right now, given his average velocity range with his fastball, he best projects as a long-term middle to back-end starting pitcher but there's a whole lot of "what ifs" with him too that could potentially give him an even higher ceiling if things break right. He shows the same plus breaking ball potential as Bryan Mitchell and a similar body type that could continue to get stronger each passing year. Should that happen he could morph himself into that kind of high ceiling pitcher if he's able to add more velocity to his fastball. Until that time he's more of a Joey Maher, Bryan Mitchell hybrid whose ceiling falls somewhere in the middle of the two.

ETA. N/A. Lail is destined for the short-season leagues again in 2013, most likely with the Gulf Coast League Yankees again. However, his game is coming together pretty quickly and his potential is strong enough that it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that he could force his way to Staten Island with a strong showing in Extended Spring Training.

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