LAFAYETTE — Blake Trahan was spending time with friends and family when the Cincinnati Reds called to select him with the 84th pick of the Major League Baseball draft.
“It wasn’t nothing big,” Trahan said. “It was my mom, my dad, my little sister and a couple friends. … It was a blessing to hear my name called.”
The selection came a bit later than Trahan and those close to him were expecting. Louisiana-Lafayette coach Tony Robichaux said Tuesday that he was expecting Trahan’s name to be called late in the first round or at least by the second round.
The first day of the draft passed, 75 picks total, without Trahan’s name being called.
While he was surprised, Trahan said he went into the draft with no expectations of where he might be selected.
“A wise man once told me, ‘The draft is either going to bless you with the money you want or the motivation,’ ” Trahan said. “It’s blessed me with the motivation.
“Of course I’m thankful for everything the draft’s done, but it’s definitely motivated me, and I’m definitely going to go into pro baseball with a chip on my shoulder.”
Now that he has been drafted, Trahan said he will forgo his final year of eligibility to pursue a professional career.
“I’m definitely blessed with the situation I’m in; I’m blessed with the third round and the 84th pick,” Trahan said. “I think I’m going to take it and go along with my career and hope for the best.”
Major League Baseball assigns a value to each pick in the first 10 rounds to determine how much money each team has at its disposal for signing bonuses. The slot value associated with the 84th pick is $708,900.
Trahan was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in his final season as a Ragin’ Cajun.
He hit .315 with 17 stolen bases at the top of the order for a Cajuns team that advanced to its second consecutive NCAA super regional.
But to limit the scope of his effectiveness to his ability at the plate would be to miss Trahan’s true importance to the Cajuns this season.
He played every inning this year, and even as his bat sometimes went in and out of slumps, Trahan never carried that with him to the field.
After some early season struggles while he was getting used to new players to his left and right, Trahan rebounded to turn in his best defensive season.
While playing arguably the most difficult defensive position on the diamond, Trahan made just three errors in his final 52 games.
If he has indeed completed his career as expected, Trahan finished with 239 hits in 723 career at bats, a .331 career batting average, to go along with 44 stolen bases and a .964 fielding percentage.
He was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SBC performer.
As a 5-foot-9 middle infielder coming out of a small town with a 2A high school, Trahan went undrafted as a high school senior.
“I came from Kinder High School,” Trahan said. “Kinder’s a small place and a small town. I came to UL with high expectations for myself, but nobody really knew who I was.”
Now he stands to make more than half a million dollars as a third-round draft pick. But after talking to some of his former teammates who have been through this process, Trahan doesn’t plan to change anything about his game.
“I’ve been in contact the last couple days and today with (former Cajuns Mike Strentz, Caleb Adams and Jace Conrad),” Trahan said. “(Milwaukee Brewers catcher) Jonathan Lucroy reached out to me lately.
“All of those guys played with a chip on their shoulder, and they’re having great success in the levels they’re at right now. That’s the biggest thing, playing with something to prove.”