As he watched the Arizona Wildcats celebrate their win over South Carolina in the College World Series on Monday night, Brady Lail was struck by a bittersweet feeling, as if he was letting one of his dreams go.
The Bingham alum decided on Saturday to forgo a college career and sign a contract with the New York Yankees, and he's excited at the prospect of joining the big leagues. But it wasn't necessarily easy for the former Wildcats commit.
"It was definitely difficult because of how great [coach] Andy Lopez was about my whole situation," Lail says. "It's great that they won the national championship. It was tough watching them, but it was a good thing those guys did out there."
One of the reasons Lail committed to Arizona was the possibility of winning the College World Series. But ultimately, after being drafted in the 18 round earlier in June and being offered some big money, the 6-foot-3 pitcher decided it was the right time.
He's planning on signing the contract next week, pending the results of a physical, an MRI on his shoulder and a drug test. When he signs, he'll cash in to the tune of a $225,000 signing bonus. The team is also offering money to pay for college down the road.
"I could tell they wanted me to sign — the area scout really had a good relationship with me," Lail said. "They contacted me before the draft and said they wanted to do whatever it took to sign me."
When Lail travelled down to Arizona for a tournament with the Utah Marshalls, he was throwing a fastball that got clocked at 94 miles per hour, sitting between 91 and 92. Rated in ESPN's top 100 high school prospects, Lail also has a solid change-up and a knuckle curve.
The Yankees got to see the performance, and it was good enough for them to offer him the kind of contract he couldn't turn down. Lail expects to fly out to the team's Gulf Coast League affiliate in Tampa, Fla., later this week to get started with his major league career.
Lail was selected to The Tribune's first all-state team, pitching for a 10-3 record and a 2.36 ERA. He also played as Bingham's quarterback.
Lail grew up a fan of the other New York team — the Mets. His older brother, Ben Lail, has long been a diehard Yankees fan. Now the younger Lail will have to switch his allegiance.
"My brother Ben already wants some apparell and stuff," Lail says. "I'm going to have to get used to cheering for the Yankees. It's all the names you grow up with: Jeter and A-Rod. My family is just really proud of me.
Lail's high school teammate, Connor Williams, was also drafted. Lail was unsure whether the Utah-committed outfielder and pitcher would sign a contract with the Oakland Athletics or go to college.
— Kyle Goon