A powerful left-handed pitcher committed to Arizona State, Brandon Bonilla has already started to build his own legacy outside of his famous last name.
So much so that Rivals High recently published an extended feature on him:
"A lot comes with the last name," he said. "Some people may be jealous at that fact he is my dad and some may just not like him very much, but that fuels me to be better. To be honest, I want to be treated fairly. It is just my last name, it is not me. I have to work hard to make people see that I am worth all of this attention and not just leveraging my father."
Brandon started his high school career at Greenwich (Conn.) High - his father has an $8 million dollar mansion there. He transferred to IMG Academy before his junior season. And even though all the players at IMG share big-league aspirations and possibly big-league talent, Bonilla always stood out.
"We identified him early," IMG Academy pitching coach and former MLB player Steve Frey said. "We have been nuturing him for a year leading up to this. This is a unique situation for him; it is something different than most other kids and we let him know that. A lot of eyes are on him not just for his talent but for who his dad is. It was important to make sure he was doing everything professionally."
While Frey acknowledged that Bonilla has been going about his business of becoming a professional baseball player, it has not changed who the younger Bonilla is.
"He is a fun-loving kid. You would not know any of this draft stuff was happening if you talked with him," Frey said. "He is a great person and he was brought up very well. He has never been anything but a pleasure to be around and he is like a sponge trying to learn all he can about the game."
His on-field abilities speak for themselves. In 43 innings this season, Bonilla was 2-2 with a 1.38 ERA and 63 strikeouts.
At 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds, he already has the size to be a big-league pitcher. And as a lefty, he throws from a coveted side of the mound.