From bat to business

Panther alum applies his skills as a pro baseball player to starting his own company

Brian+Fletcher+graduated+from+the+Mill+in+2007+with+hopes+of+playing+baseball+professionally.+After+six+years+of+doing+just+that%2C+Fletcher+has+now+co-founded+his+own+company%2C+Round+2.
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From bat to business

Brian Fletcher graduated from the Mill in 2007 with hopes of playing baseball professionally. After six years of doing just that, Fletcher has now co-founded his own company, Round 2.

Brian Fletcher graduated from the Mill in 2007 with hopes of playing baseball professionally. After six years of doing just that, Fletcher has now co-founded his own company, Round 2.

Courtesy of Brian Fletcher

Brian Fletcher graduated from the Mill in 2007 with hopes of playing baseball professionally. After six years of doing just that, Fletcher has now co-founded his own company, Round 2.

Courtesy of Brian Fletcher

Courtesy of Brian Fletcher

Brian Fletcher graduated from the Mill in 2007 with hopes of playing baseball professionally. After six years of doing just that, Fletcher has now co-founded his own company, Round 2.

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Panther grad Brian Fletcher spent his youth looking up to his father, MLB player Scott Fletcher. From a young age, Fletcher knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and play baseball professionally. What Fletcher didn’t anticipate was how he would later turn his passion for baseball into a business and a way to give back to the community.

I was playing baseball traveling pretty often so it just led to more of that passion and that drive to excel in the sport.”

— class of 2007 graduate Brian Fletcher

“Growing up, my dad was playing is the big leagues and was a huge influence,” Fletcher said. “When I was little I would always imitate watching him on TV, and pick up a bat swing it reenacting all of his movements from there it just really started to compile that interest. And as I got older and started playing more competitively my father would continue to mentor and train and really install that mindset that he has been playing at the big league level.”

In high school, Fletcher played for the Starr’s Mill baseball team and a travel team, the East Cobb Astros during the off-season. Fletcher also played basketball at the Mill his freshman and sophomore years, but committed to focusing on baseball his last two years. Playing for the Astros, one of the top travel teams in Georgia, Fletcher was able to compete with other elite athletes such as former Atlanta Braves player Jason Heyward.

“It really just took a lot of time away from other activities that I could be doing away from the sport itself,” Fletcher said. “Like going and hanging out with friends and going to the movies, but I was playing baseball traveling pretty often so it just led to more of that passion and that drive to excel in the sport.”

Although playing baseball year-long was a major commitment, it paid off in helping Fletcher improve his skills and gain national recognition. Fletcher’s junior year the Starr’s Mill team went undefeated in regular season play, a first in school history. The Panthers were nationally ranked 2nd and Fletcher was nationally ranked 94th as a player.

“That’s when I started gaining a lot more recognition from Perfect Game [a scouting service],” Fletcher said. “I started getting a lot more attention from schools, from major league teams,and that was kind of the deciding factor at that point leading into my senior year if I wanted to play college first or at that point jump into professional.”

I had a visit to Auburn while my sister [Brittany] was there and just fell in love with the campus, with the Auburn family, the camaraderie with the team and the coaches, it was an easy fit for me.”

— Starr's Mill alum Brian Fletcher

After considering his top school options, Fletcher decided on playing at the collegiate level before moving on to professional play after graduating from the Mill in 2007. Fletcher’s older sister, Brittany Beckham, had a big influence on his choice as she was attending Auburn at the time.

“My heart was just more on playing college and having that experience in college at that age,” Fletcher said. “I had a visit to Auburn while my sister [Brittany] was there and just fell in love with the campus, with the Auburn family, the camaraderie with the team and the coaches, it was an easy fit for me.”

While at Auburn, Fletcher studied Criminology with a minor in Sociology, but a lot of his focus was on baseball. Fletcher’s junior year he hit .357 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs.  He went on to tie Hall of Famer Frank Thomas’ school record with 49 career home runs, the third most in Auburn history. 

“At that point in time it was definitely the right move for me to sign as a junior and leave [Auburn] early,” Fletcher said.

Following his third season with Auburn, Fletcher was drafted in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals.”

— Editor-in-Chief Caylee Cicero

Following his third season with Auburn, Fletcher was drafted in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Kansas City Royals. Fletcher stayed with the Royals for four years before playing for the Chicago White Sox for a year and a half. 

“[Being drafted by the Royals] was a big opportunity for me to really be able to pursue my dream with baseball and look for a way to fall in the footsteps of my father,” Fletcher said.

During his time playing professionally, Fletcher was able to earn two national titles, MVP of a national title game and compete in the fall league. After six years of professional play, Fletcher decided to retire from the sport to pursue other interests.

“Obviously with baseball and any other sport there comes injuries,” Fletcher said. “There comes mental spheres where you start developing other interests aside from just a sport when it has consumed your life and you feel like you’re committed to it. But I had other aspirations as well that came more to the surface as I was kind of coming to the end of my career.” 

Putting baseball behind him, Fletcher finished his degree at Alabama and began helping Beckham with her business before figuring out exactly what he wanted to do outside of the sport. Beckham is currently working on developing an app, Lutzy, which focuses on fashion and customizing shopping.

But I had other aspirations as well that came more to the surface as I was kind of coming to the end of my career.”

— Panther alum Brian Fletcher

“When my baseball career kind of came to a wrap I was stuck,” Fletcher said. “My whole life that [baseball] is something I was fully embedded into and committed to and then making that transition it was tough to face that reality but like I said Brittany was obviously a huge inspiration for me as well. She’s a great leader and mentor for me and what she was able to accomplish with Lutzy and her company and that start-up and as she continues to build that herself and it really inspired me to do more.”

Recently, Fletcher received a call from his now partner, Dillon Breslin. Breslin pitched the idea of creating a company for buying and selling sports goods and Fletcher helped him run with the idea. This was the break Fletcher had been waiting for since he retired from baseball and the perfect opportunity for him to combine his interests.

“We want to develop a platform that can acquire exclusive sports gear for affordable prices and at the lowest head over fee,” Fletcher said. “So [Breslin] is like similar to Ebay, Amazon, Poshmark. And at that point in time obviously with sports being one of my passions I was looking for the opportunity where I could apply that skill set and knowledge that I had in baseball in particular and my studies of digital marketing to where I could mash both together and really contribute, and he was ecstatic to bring me on board.” 

 Together Fletcher and Breslin founded Round 2 a marketplace style app allowing users to buy and sell high quality sports goods at the lowest transaction fee. In just the six months since Round 2 has launched, it has accumulated 17,000 active users and close to $70,000 dollars in sales. 

In just the six months since Round 2 has launched, it has accumulated 17,000 active users and close to $70,000 dollars in sales.”

— Editor-in-Chief Caylee Cicero

 “Basically it’s applying those same skill sets you had in baseball to other factors in a way that you’re not only helping yourself and family and friends but you’re helping people internationally and globally play the game and be introduced to other sports and opportunities that they probably never had the opportunity to play with in the beginning,” Fletcher said. “So it’s cool to really have that impact and continue to convey that message towards everyone and given everybody in intercities, communities, rural areas that we can offer you quality gear that can keep you on the field and keep you playing and give everyone a chance to if they want to be a professional athlete or a collegiate athlete we have the tools and we have the vision to give you that goal.”

Round 2 not only helps athletes afford the gear they need to succeed, but it also gives back to the community through partnering with schools. A big part of Fletcher’s job as the company’s VP of partnerships and development is reaching out to anyone who can help him grow and expand the brand. This includes top baseball brands like Dinger Bats, Wilson, and Old History as well as local non-profits, charities and even influencers.

“We want to work with private organizations and charities and groups because again instead of having the mindset of we’re just trying to make a buck off people who want to sell and buy,” Fletcher said. “We want to create a platform where we buy and we sell gear, especially stuff that you have that’s in the garage or sitting and going unused, and instead of going to some other retail services that may surcharge or not give you the right value for that equipment, Round 2, we will and we want you to take on those expenses and obviously do what you can if its going back toward a community group or you want to make partnerships with schools.”

I think a lot of times when you’re constrained or held back, you’re basically on the notion of what’s cautionary or what’s safe, and for me that’s kind of one thing that threw me into thinking I had opportunities elsewhere outside of baseball.”

— Starr's Mill alum Brian Fletcher

Fletcher credits his world travels for helping him realize he could accomplish more outside of baseball and really make a difference in the community. Experiencing new cultures globally, allowed Fletcher to realize what he could achieve back home if he branched away from his comfort zone.

“I feel like when you experience something new or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable you start to replace limitation with opportunity,” Fletcher said. “And I think that’s what a lot of people start lacking or they don’t think they have. When you start seeing new things and you start taking courageous action it switches that mindset up, actually I can accomplish this, I can possibly do this, and I think a lot of times when you’re constrained or held back, you’re basically on the notion of what’s cautionary or what’s safe, and for me that’s kind of one thing that threw me into thinking I had opportunities elsewhere outside of baseball.” 

As Fletcher and Breslin continue to build Round 2, Fletcher’s journey has exemplified the rewards of taking risks and trying new things. Although Fletcher remains involved in baseball through Round 2, he now is able to have a greater impact on the sports community than he could as a player.

To learn more about Round 2 and Fletcher’s vision, students can visit their website or download their app, Round2, on the App Store or Play Store.

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