Another pair of young Bahamians will add their names to the ever-expanding list of local baseball prospects to sign pro baseball contracts.
Keithron Moss and D’Vaughn Knowles, products of the International Elite Sports Academy signed with the Texas Rangers organisation to enter their minor league system.
Moss, a 16-year-old switch hitting shortstop signed a $800,000 deal.
“I have to thank my coaches, my teachers, my parents. I’m just really excited right now and it’s difficult to explain. It wasn’t easy but I’m proud to say that I accomplished it, and I know it’s just a start and the real work starts now,” he said, “To anyone else chasing this dream, it takes hard work and hard work beats talent. No matter how hard it seems you just have to continue pushing when you have a goal in mind. I just have to thank the Rangers for giving me this opportunity.”
Knowles, a 16-year-old outfielder agreed to sign for a $500,000 deal.
He thanked each of his family members, coaches, churches and support staff that have helped him along his baseball and development journey.
“I’d like to thank the Freedom Farm family for bringing me in and teaching me the game of baseball and teaching me how to be a young man playing the game of baseball,” he said, “I would also like to thank the Rangers for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream and allowing us, along with my brother D’Shawn to become the first pair of twins from the Bahamas to sign to play professional baseball.”
He joins his twin brother D’Shawn Knowles, who signed with the LA Angels of Anaheim in July at the launch of the current International Signing Period.
Hamilton Wise, Assistant to International Scouting for the Rangers applauded both players for their accomplishments in his welcome to the organisation.
“What these players are doing for the game of baseball here has been amazing. You look back at some of the players that have come through the Bahamas there is a lot of good things happening here and it is an exciting time. It has sen a pleasure getting to know the character of these boys and their makeup and their character is so high it made the decision was. That is the character of I-Elite and the character of the this community,” he said, “These kids possess incredible ability on and off the field, more importantly, they are high character individuals.
The future is bright and ahead of you, you have a long way to go. We are ready for that I know you guys are too and we are really excited to welcome you guys into our Texas Rangers family.”
It brings the total to six Bahamian players that have signed this year during the current period including Kristian Robinson (Arizona Diamondbacks), Trent Deveaux (Angels), Davon Mackey (Oakland Athletics).
Texas’ 2017-18 international signing class also includes Venezuelan shortstop Keyber Rodriguez (the No. 24 international prospect), Venezuelan righthander Orcelis Gomez and Mexican righthander Damian Mendoza, among others.
International Elite Sports Academy is operated by directors Geron Sands and Albert Cartwright. It provides an avenue for players between the ages of 11 and 17 years an opportunity to hone their skills with the view of playing at the professional level.
“Our goal has been to help these young men realise their dreams and take advantage of these opportunities,” Sands said, “We want these guys and their families to know that this is not a goodbye from us. We will continue to support them and whatever they need, we are going to be there. We will always be there no matter what, through the tough times in the minor leagues you have to be able to prevail. They put in the work in the weight room, on the field, on the beach, and in school, so they deserve this and we have their backs no matter what. These are people willing to put in that extra effort, put in that extra time and get that benefit at the end of the day. This is just the beginning of their careers and we hope to see more major announcements to come.”