Maples Joins Cubbies
Pinecrest multi-sports star Dillon Maples didn’t make a final decision between two spectacular next level opportunities until shortly before Major League Baseball’s Monday-midnight-contract-signing deadline for players drafted last June.
Maples’ father, Tim, confirmed Tuesday morning that media reports indicating his son agreed to a five-year, $2.5 million contract to play baseball for the Chicago Cubs were accurate. A 14th-round pick in this year’s draft, the Chicago Tribune reported that his deal is the largest bonus ever for anyone higher than a second-round choice. It also includes a significant additional amount to pay for his college education.
The former all-state baseball and football player at Pinecrest had a scholarship to play baseball at the University of North Carolina and had been practicing with the Tar Heel football team. He learned on Saturday that he had earned the punting and kickoff jobs for the Tar Heels and would be given a full scholarship to play football. Maples had planned to play both sports for the Heels.
A 6-foot-3 right-hander with a sharp-breaking curveball and a mid-90s fastball, Maples was a top-50 prospect by most scouting reports. He fell in the draft because it appeared that he was going to play college baseball and football after signing a letter of intent with UNC.
Maples was a member of the 18-and-under U.S. National team that competed in the world games in Canada last summer. He was named the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year after capping his Pinecrest career with a 9-1 record last spring. He was the conference player of the year for the second time (shared with James Baldwin III in 2010).
Maples took two classes at UNC this summer. His father describes his son’s experience at UNC as an entirely favorable one. Although the five-year contract with the Cubs would bar him from playing college football during that time, it would not preclude him from playing football for the Tar Heels down the road.
More like this story