Zach Brill grew up in a suburb south of Portland called Lake Oswego. He loved his school and community, running for and winning class president at Lakeridge (6A) High school. As a 6’4” freshman, he was a lanky, crafty lefty that hadn’t grown into his body for any kind of velocity, but he learned how to win games. It was late in his sophomore season when his potential began to show, and during the summer after his sophomore year he led the Oregon Metro team to be champions of Baseball Northwest’s All-Northwest tournament, hitting 89mph and pitching a perfect six innings in the championship game, allowing 1 earned run throughout 12 innings at the tournament. He was named most valuable pitcher in the Northwest, and the number two prospect in Oregon behind teammate Carson Kelly. Towards the end of sophomore summer, he was feeling sharp pain in his elbow, but refused to take a break while he was being contacted by 10 of the Pac-12 conference coaches and seeing scouts representing over 20 Major League organizations with radar guns in the stands. He rode the pain out until junior year when his family fell on hard times and he left Lake Oswego to move in with his uncle in Longview, Wa. Not long after, an MRI revealed a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his left elbow, and he underwent the infamous Tommy John surgery. He dropped off the map for the next year and a half as far as upper-level baseball was concerned. During the off-time and recovery he trained hard and took up yoga as a serious hobby and tool for pitching.
Finally, towards the last half of his senior year at Mark Morris High school
in Longview, he was able to get on the mound again. He called all the
scouts that had given him a card sophomore year, and hoped his elbow
held up for the radar. Finishing out the season, he through a nearly
untouchable 41k’s in 18 innings pitched. Scouts were impressed,
but he never mentioned the dispiriting pain that never really left
his elbow. Most of the scouts thought it was too soon after surgery
to take a chance on his arm, instead wanting to see him pitch at a
Junior College for a year and then enter the draft. A Rangers scout,
Gary Mcgraw, saw things differently: “It’s not that tough. Six-foot-six,
left-handed with an absolute advanced maturity — mental aptitude,
his heart, his desire. He’s already had his arm done, and he’s back
already throwing 85-90miles an hour. To me, that’s no-brainer stuff.”
June of 2012, Zach Brill signed in the 31st Round to the Texas Rangers.
Fighting in and out of physical therapy for two seasons at short-A, his
elbow never recovered. He was released from the team late 2013.
Personal coach and physical trainer for pitchers in 1st-12th grade. Lakeridge Alumni, 2012 MLB Draft Texas Rangers. Studying math and economics at PSU.