Another young Bahamian athlete has been afforded an opportunity to play professional baseball overseas. However, his journey to the pros hasn’t been the prototypical baseball story by any means. Pitcher Henry William Thompson signed with the Cincinnati Reds yesterday, and will leave for their instructional league in the Dominican Republic (DR) today.
The 21-year-old played baseball early on in his life, but elected to play basketball in high school and college. He was out of the game for almost 10 years before working out with local coaches from the Max-D Academy here in New Providence and local Reds affiliate Brian Armbrister.
At a closed session with Reds officials last week, Thompson displayed a strong arm, throwing pitches over 90 miles per hour. This, along with the fact that his arm is fairly fresh due to his absence from the game, the Reds decided to take a shot on the young prospect.
“I always was a baseball player. I love basketball, but in terms of the next step for me, the transition to baseball turned out to be better,” said Thompson. “Headed to the DR, I know it will be a heavy workload over there but I’m anxious to get started on a professional field. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I can say that it’s truly a blessing.”
Prior to returning home, Thompson played collegiate basketball at Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Texas and high school basketball in Tampa, Florida.