GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Former Vancleave High School standout pitcher Tyler Bray is hoping to follow in the foot steps of his good friend Jonathan Holder and crack the major leagues. The minor league reliever is doing his best to get there.
Tyler Bray is preparing for the 2018 baseball season...working out with New York Yankees pitcher Jonathan Holder. Bray was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals, a 26th round selection in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. The 6-foot-5, 200 pound pitcher has a goal of cracking the major leagues as a reliever.
Bray said, "I actually report to West Palm Beach, Florida in March and from there I'll be shipped off to either Double A or Triple A and hope to be in St. Louis by the end of the year or the year after."
Bray has played with 5 minor league teams since 2014 and carries a 4.05 earned run average in 229 innings with 14 saves. Bray admits getting a shot at the major leagues is not easily attainable. Thats why he so proud of Jonathan Holder.
"It's very tough., "Bray said. "You're talking about the 1 percentage of the world, competing with them and not only that, your buddies, you're helping them out, making each other better. At the end of the day I would like to be there as well."
Last season Bay pitched for Memphis in Triple A and at Springfield, Missouri in Double A. Tyler played two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and signed with UL-Monroe where he struck out 69 batters in 67 innings, had 5 saves and 8 wins.
Bray comes from an athletic family. Here's video from 2009 when Tyler, played wide receiver at Vancleave High. He catches a touchdown pass from his younger brother Colin, a quarterback. They both played multiple sports. In 2013 Colin was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the sixth round. He's also in the minors, an excellent outfielder and hitter.
Tyler and Colin's dad, Scott Bray, was a standout pitcher at Ocean Springs High School. He also played in the minor leagues in the 1980s with the Montreal Expos organization. After his baseball playing career ended Scott became a high school baseball coach at George County and Greene County High Schools. He guided the Wildcats to a state championship. Bray moved into an administrative role and is now the principal at Greene County High School.