Outfielder Trejyn Fletcher of Deering High School in Portland was selected in the second round by the St. Louis Cardinals late Monday night during the first day of the Major League Baseball amateur draft.
He was selected 58th overall, the highest by a Maine player since Deering graduate Ryan Flaherty, who was chosen 41st in the 2008 MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs. Flaherty played seven years in the major leagues.
Fletcher has committed to play at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, where Flaherty also played his college ball.
The only other Maine natives drafted higher than Fletcher were South Portland and University of Maine pitcher Billy Swift, who was selected second overall in 1984 by the Seattle Mariners, and Mt. Ararat High School of Topsham pitcher Mark Rogers, who was the fifth pick in 2004 of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The slot value signing bonus for the 58th overall pick in the draft is $1.2 million. Fletcher will have to decide whether to honor his commitment to Vanderbilt or sign a pro contract by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 15.
If he decides to attend Vanderbilt, he can be drafted again after his junior year.
If Fletcher improves his draft position in three years and gets selected among the first 30 picks, his slot value bonus would increase significantly. The 30th pick’s slot value bonus this year is $2,365,500.
The No. 1 pick’s slot value bonus is $8,415,300. Slugging Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman was the first player selected, by the Baltimore Orioles.
Fletcher, who also pitches, batted .456 for the 4-12 Deering Rams this season. He hit three home runs. He appeared in four games as a pitcher and allowed only seven hits with 40 strikeouts.
Andrew St. John of the Viva El Birdos website dedicated to the Cardinals said Fletcher has tremendous potential but is considered a “tough sign” because of his commitment to Vandy.
“In many ways, he is the archetypal prep center fielder,” St. John wrote. “He boasts plus speed, raw power and arm strength as well as a 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame that should add strength without sacrificing the ability to play up the middle defensively.”
St. John said scouts have concerns about how Fletcher’s hitting will develop after having only been exposed to Maine high school pitching.
“It’s a high upside gamble at No. 58 with signability concerns to boot,” he wrote.
Fletcher played football, basketball and baseball at Cheverus High in Portland as a freshman before repeating his freshman season at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, New York.
He returned to Portland to attend Deering.
Prior to the draft, Baseball America rated him No. 64 on its top 500 list, which included player college players and high school prospects.
Perfect Game, an amateur baseball scouting service, ranked him the country’s No.1 overall prospect in the class of 2020 if he had remained in that class.
Vanderbilt is 52-10 and hosts Duke University in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional beginning Friday. The winner advances to the College World Series.