BBB 2017 Top Prospect Countdown #25: Brady Lail

After being ranked as high as 12th in the BBB top prospect rankings just a season ago, Lail now checks into our rankings at number 25. Though this can also be attributed to the Yankees now having a much stronger and deeper farm system, 2016 was a down year for the prospect who was trending upward at this point last year. Still, at just 23-years-old, Lail has plenty of time to regain his prospect status, and could do so with a bounce back season.
Photo Credit: Jake Danna Stevens | Times Tribune

Breakdown
Despite very solid 10-6 season with a 2.91 ERA in 2015, Lail did experience struggles at the Triple-A level. In seven starts, Lail had a 4.62 ERA and struggled to get hitters out as they hit .313 against the young righty. Lail held opposing batters to a .277 average in Triple-A last season, but yielded a 5.07 ERA. However, nearly every player endures some struggles when they reach a new level in the minors, and Lail will certainly look to find his stride once again in 2017.


Lail’s arsenal includes a lower 90’s fastball, an above average curveball, a changeup, and a cutter. The 6’2” 205 pound right-hander relies on mixing his pitches and pitching to contact to get outs, which is why he only averages 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings pitched in the minor leagues. Lail will look to continue developing into the mid-line starter he could become.


Projection
At his high point, Lail was thought of as a potential mid-line starter, likely being a solid number four starter. Though those projections may be fading, don’t count Lail out just yet. As a non-roster invite to spring training in an open competition for the final two spots in the rotation, Lail may be looked at under a microscope this spring. By no means am I saying Lail will start the season in the Yankees starting rotation, but I do expect him to see some time on the mound for the Yankees in a prime opportunity for him to impress the big league coaches.

This season will be very telling for Brady Lail. Entering his second full season in Triple-A, he will need to rebound and have a strong year with the RailRiders. We still believe in Lail, and I certainly expect him to improve on his struggles from last year and once again cement himself on prospect radars. Lail could pitch his way onto the Yankees 40-man roster this spring en route to a September call-up, but that will only happens if he regains the form he had for most of the 2015 season. If he doesn’t, he may not last very much longer as a starting pitcher in an improving Yankees farm system.

Article by: Chad Raines

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