There’s a new kid at Deering High – and he happens to be one of America’s top amateur baseball prospects.

Trejyn Fletcher, 17, a Portland resident who had been attending a prep school in New York state, enrolled at Deering last week and plans to play baseball this spring for the Rams. One scouting service lists him as the nation’s top high school prospect in the class of 2020.

Fletcher, however, plans to graduate this spring. That could make him eligible for Major League Baseball’s 2019 amateur draft in June, pending MLB approval.

Fletcher has verbally committed to Vanderbilt University, but if he were to be selected in the first round of the draft he would receive a signing bonus of at least $2 million.

He enrolled at Deering on Feb. 26.

“His (Maine Principals’ Association) transfer waiver is signed and approved and he meets all eligibility requirements, at the school and state levels,” Deering athletic director Melanie Craig said. “He is registered as a senior.”

“I’m excited to have him,” Deering baseball coach Josh Stowell said. “He’s up here now. He should be all square to finish up (school).”

A 6-foot-2, 205-pound outfielder and pitcher, Fletcher has a rare combination of power hitting, bat speed and arm strength that sets him apart. Perfect Game, a national scouting service that runs showcase tournaments, moved Fletcher to No. 1 on its rankings list for the Class of 2020 last month.

In the past five MLB drafts, 24 of the 25 top-five players in Perfect Game’s rankings have been first-round selections.

Another scouting service, Baseball Factory, put Fletcher at No. 5 among class of 2020 players who attended its preseason tournament in January, calling Fletcher “as gifted an athlete as you will see.” Prep Baseball Report, had Fletcher at No. 7 on a list published in April 2018.

It is unclear how reclassifying to the class of 2019 would affect Fletcher’s draft stock. The MLB draft includes college, junior college and high school players. In 2018, 16 of the 30 first-round picks were high school seniors. Signing bonuses for 2018 first-round picks ranged from $2.14 to $7.5 million.

“If he is draft-eligible it would be very interesting. He’s obviously a special talent,” said Greg Sabers, Perfect Game’s vice president of scouting and showcases. Sabers said major league teams would have less information on Fletcher since they believed him to be a year away from the draft. The 2019 class, he said, is “a little deeper (than 2020) and there’s some really good players at the top end. But if he does find himself draft-eligible for 2019, someone (selecting) him in the first round would not be out of the question.”

Trejyn Fletcher, who recently enrolled at Portland’s Deering High, is rated by several scouting services as one of the top high school baseball prospects in the nation. He is shown taking batting practice at The Edge Academy in Portland in June 2018. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

DREAMS OF VANDERBILT

Only three players who called Maine home have been drafted in the first round: Bill Swift (South Portland High/University of Maine), No. 2 overall in 1984; Mark Rogers (Mt. Ararat High), No. 5 overall in 2004; and Ryan Flaherty (Deering High/Vanderbilt), taken 41st as a supplemental first-rounder in 2008. All have played in the major leagues.

Fletcher declined to comment for this story. His foster father, Erin Brady, said Fletcher wants to focus on school. In a June 2018 interview, Fletcher told the Press Herald his ultimate goal is to play in the majors and that he was unsure how a possible multimillion-dollar signing bonus would affect his decision to play at Vanderbilt.

“I just feel like that’s something I’m going to have to decide when the time comes,” Fletcher said last summer. “It’s always been a dream of mine to go to Vanderbilt. Tim Corbin, the head coach, in my opinion, (is) the best coach in college baseball.”

Fletcher attended Cheverus High as a freshman in 2015-16 and played varsity football, basketball and baseball. He transferred to Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York, and reclassified as a freshman, a common practice at prep schools. Brady said Fletcher transferred to Deering for “a host of reasons,” and Fletcher is in good shape to meet Deering’s requirements to graduate this spring.

“That’s currently the plan,” Brady said, adding, “right now the only focus that I’ve had is getting him ready to go to Vanderbilt.”

EXCITEMENT WITHIN THE LEAGUE

Officials at Trinity-Pawling School did not return requests for comment on this story.

While he pitches sparingly, Fletcher’s fastball is in the 90-93 mph range. He stood out at top-end showcase tournaments the past few years. Last summer, Fletcher was named an all-tournament player at a 17U national wooden-bat tournament run by Perfect Game, and then a week later was the MVP at Perfect Game’s 16U National Championships. He also was a standout at the prestigious Area Code Games.

Fletcher verbally committed to play baseball at Vanderbilt, an NCAA powerhouse in baseball, in 2017. Because he was classified as a junior until recently, Fletcher could not sign a national letter of intent this school year.

“In my 30 years, he is the best high school athlete that I have seen up close and I haven’t seen him since his freshman year (at Cheverus),” Portland High baseball coach Mike Rutherford said. “It’s going to be fun to have him in the league. When he does play there’s going to be 15, 20 scouts in the stands. It’s a good atmosphere for the kids.”

The first day for high school pitchers and catchers to begin formal practice in Maine is March 18, with full-team practice beginning March 23. Deering’s first regular-season game is set for April 17, against Marshwood at Hadlock Field.

Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig


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