When it comes to the Major League baseball draft, Trevor DeLaite said he is going to keep an open mind.
“It’s a waiting game,” said the 24-year-old DeLaite. “It’s going to take a team that is willing to look for someone who is a little bit older, who throws strikes and knows how to pitch.”
The former Bangor High School ace lefthander transferred from the University of Maine to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he was an All-American this spring and one of six finalists for national Pitcher of the Year.
DeLaite and current UMaine star pitcher Nick Sinacola are among the hundreds of high school and college baseball players hoping to get drafted by Major League Baseball. This year’s draft will be held July 11-13 in Denver as part of MLB’s All-Star Weekend. Around 600 players will be selected during the draft’s 20 rounds.
Sinacola, a former UMaine teammate of DeLaite’s, became the first Black Bear pitcher in the history of the program to be a first team All-American selection.
UMaine head coach Nick Derba, a former minor league catcher, said he expects Sinacola to be selected somewhere between the third and eighth rounds.
He predicted DeLaite will be pitching for the pros this summer either via the draft or a free agent deal.
“I don’t see how he wouldn’t be,” Derba said.
DeLaite’s fastball maxes out at 91 mph, but he does have movement on his four-seam fastball and regained his change-up, which he struggled with at UMaine. His change-up, which he said is 7-10 mph slower than his fastball, has good downward movement.
DeLaite, the ASUN Conference Pitcher of the Year and third team All-American, registered three shutouts and had a 2.17 earned run average. He struck out 88 batters and walked 20 in 107 ⅔ innings. Opposing hitters had a batting average of just .219 against him.
He set a school record for wins with 12 and just one loss. That tied him for third in the country among 286 Division I schools. His five complete games tied him for seventh.
He led the conference in innings pitched, complete games and shutouts along with wins.
Being a graduate student at Liberty, DeLaite is older than most players in the draft, who will be mostly high school seniors or college juniors.
DeLaite is currently back in Bangor and began throwing this week. He has been weightlifting to try to put some weight on his 6-foot, 185-pound frame.
“I feel good. I’ve been shaking off the rust,” DeLaite said. He is confident he can get hitters out at the next level and is hoping to prove it.
However, if he doesn’t, the former Maine Gatorade Player of the Year and recipient of the Dr. John Winkin Award given to the state’s top senior player said he is content knowing that he ended his career on a high note.
Meanwhile Sinacola, a 6-foot-1 native of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, finished second in the country in strikeouts per nine innings with 15.77. His 139 total strikeouts set a school record and was the sixth highest strikeout total in the nation.
Sinacola was the America East Pitcher of the Year and UMaine’s first ever District 1 Player of Year. He ended the season with a 9-3 record, and a 2.04 earned run average. Opponents hit just .208 off him.
Sinacola, who features a nasty slider to go with a fastball and split-fingered pitch, is 0-1 with an 8.00 ERA in two starts this summer for Harwich in the prestigious Cape Cod League. He has allowed only five hits in nine innings and struck out 13, but three of those hits were homers. He walked five batters.
“To give up just five hits and strike out 13 in nine innings against the best [college] hitters in the country is pretty darned good,” Derba said.