History suggests two things will happen for Deering High senior Trejyn Fletcher now that he has been selected in the second round of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.

He will be offered a signing bonus of at least $1.2 million, and if he signs he’ll have a better than one-in-three chance of making it to the major leagues.

And there’s this: Even though the outfielder has a full athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University, a powerhouse in NCAA baseball, every second-round pick in the past three years has signed a professional contract.

His selection at 58th overall is the highest for any Maine native since another Deering player, Ryan Flaherty, was taken No. 41 in the 2008 MLB draft. Flaherty went on to play seven seasons in the major leagues.

“We’re looking at this as we’re going to be able to get this signing done,” Randy Flores, the Cardinals’ assistant general manager and director of scouting, said during a briefing with reporters early Tuesday.

Fletcher was mum about his future after being selected by the Cardinals just before midnight on Monday. He was depicted in an Instagram post holding a Cardinals banner – while wearing a Vanderbilt sweatshirt. He did not return multiple phone calls or text messages before texting late Tuesday to say he hadn’t been on his phone.


Each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft – which includes college and high school players in the United States and Canada – is assigned a slot value for the signing bonus. This year, it ranges from more than $8 million for the No. 1 pick to $140,000 for the final pick in the 10th round. Teams have wiggle room to negotiate signing bonuses with their top picks.

The slot value for Fletcher as the 58th pick is $1,214,300.

In 2018, 12 high school players were taken in the second round. Ten received a signing bonus above slot value, with a median increase in signing bonus of $236,900.

Fletcher, 18, had been expected to be eligible for the 2020 draft. The combination of his athletic size – he is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds – speed, arm strength and ability to hit for power led to him being ranked the No. 1 Class of 2020 player in the country by scouting service Perfect Game.

However, when he transferred to Deering in February from Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York, he reclassified to the 2019 class.

Flores said the late reclassification and Maine’s short 16-game high school season presented scouting challenges.


“Candidly, that might be why he was available there to be selected,” Flores said, adding later: “It’s not like we’re the first team to ever realize this young man and his tool set existed. We’re just thrilled that he’s going to have those tool sets in the St. Louis Cardinals’ uniform.”

When Fletcher heard his name called at around 11:45 p.m., it was a moment to celebrate with a small group of friends and family who had gathered at The Edge Academy in Portland, where Fletcher has trained for several years.

Ryan Copp, who has been his hitting coach since Fletcher was 13, said no one at The Edge knew the Cardinals’ plans.

“We were really just sitting in the dark the entire time and had no idea. We didn’t even know if it was going to happen,” Copp said. “Everybody was obviously super excited for him and there were lots of hugs and high-fives.

“It’s just obviously a huge accomplishment and something to be celebrated for him, it shows the tenacity that he has, to go through the grind of the summer travel that’s involved to get him to this point.”

Fletcher is being advised by Brett Knief, who works for the Boras Corporation, the agency created by high-profile sports agent Scott Boras.


“One good thing about St. Louis is they typically breed their superstars through their system and their top prospects they give them every opportunity to succeed,” said Thornton Academy Coach Jason Lariviere, the Cards’ 44th round pick in 1995 who eventually reached Triple-A. “His attributes dictate first-round (talent). He’s strong, he can run, can hit for power.”

Lariviere said if he was being offered a seven-figure bonus, especially if it inched closer to $1.5 million, he would take the money.

“The two ways to make money in baseball are signing bonus or playing in the majors. He has one of them already, potentially, and then he’s fighting to work his way up.”

A 2017 study of draft picks from 1996-2011 showed 36.8 percent of high school players taken in the second round reached the major leagues by 2016, and 24.4 percent had played in three major league seasons.

If Fletcher does not reach an agreement with St. Louis he would not be eligible for the draft again until after his junior year of college.

The study’s lead researcher, Rick Karcher, a professor of sports management at Eastern Michigan University who played three seasons in the Atlanta Braves’ organization, said the pro versus college debate is tough to gauge from an economic perspective.

“The answer to that question depends on what the player’s signing bonus would be in three years, but of course he doesn’t have a crystal ball,” Karcher said. “We only hear about the ones who did improve their draft status. No one worries about the ones that decline, and then three years later receive much less or are not drafted at all.”

The value of a Vanderbilt education is a significant factor, said University of Southern Maine baseball coach Ed Flaherty. Flaherty’s sons, Ryan and Regan, both played for Vanderbilt. Ryan played three seasons for Coach Tim Corbin before being drafted 41st overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2008 and going on to a seven-year career in the majors. Regan transferred from Vanderbilt after his freshman year, eventually finishing at Western Kentucky.

“I know Tim Corbin very well,” Flaherty said. “Tim is going to teach him life skills. He’s going to teach things that no professional organization can do and he’s also going to teach him baseball.”

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