Evansville Otters pitcher Tyler Vail is our 44News Athlete of the Month for July 2018.
Spending nearly a decade playing professional baseball, the 26-year-old says his three years in Evansville have been some of the most meaningful. He believes that despite spending six years in affiliated baseball, five with the Oakland Athletics organization.
“The three years I’ve played in (Evansville) is the most (fun) I’ve had playing professional baseball,” Vail said. “When you’re in with the affiliated teams, you’re worrying about going up, going down. But here, you just have to worry about winning.”
Vail was the best starter on the mound for the Otters in July. He posted a 3.00 ERA, and had four starts. He also had 25 strikeouts over 24 innings.
“Baseball is all about getting into a rhythm,” he said. “I got into a good rhythm with my routines with weight lifting, throwing, and lifting.”
Vail was drafted by Oakland in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Notre Dame High School in Easton, Pennsylvania. Otters manager is also from the Easton area, so both knew about each other as as their baseball careers progressed.
“I have a lot of history with Tyler Vail,” McCauley said. “I remember him in high school when he was drafted high in the fifth round.”