Kristin Munroe became the latest Bahamian baseball prospect to sign with an MLB franchise.
The 16-year-old shortstop out of the International Elite Sports Academy made it
official with the Los Angeles Angels Thursday.
“I would like to thank all the coaches at Freedom Farm who played a part in me being here today. I remember I told coach Geron [Sands] I would be up here and he believed in me, he said to keep working and trust the process and here we are today,” he said, “To the Angels, thank you for giving me this opportunity to come one step closer to pursuing my dreams. I will work hard each and every day. Coach Geron once said ‘You have to have a reason why you go out there and play this game every day,’ And to everyone here, listening and watching tonight, you all are my reason why and I won’t let you all down.”
With his signing, Munroe became the third Bahamian player currently in the Angels organisation. He joins D’Shawn Knowles (No.8) and Trent Deveaux (No.20) who are both in the club’s Top 30 Prospect List according to MLB Pipeline.
Brain Cruz, the Angels’ Assistant Director of International Scouting said the organisation looks to continue its trend of bringing Bahamian players into the farm system.
“Obviously we have a history with I-Elite and with The Bahamas with Trent D’Shawn and now with Kristin,” he said, “It speaks volumes that we keep on coming back, there’s proof, there’s backup but we’re going to keep on doing it, we’re going to keep on coming back. It’s a testament to the programme you guys have going on here.”
Cruz said it became a personal mission of Brian Parker, the Angels Senior Director of International Scouting, to get Munroe signed to the franchise.
“Brian Parker and I came to the Angels in December. We have not been here long. We’re in May and Kristin is already with us, we move fast. Brian Parker used to be with the Dodgers and he wanted to sign him then but at the time they didn’t have what it took to offer Kristin. As soon as he got on board here he called me and said ‘Hey, Brain we need to go to The Bahamas there’s a kid I want to sign.’ Came down here, spent some time with Kristin, fell in love, and weeks later we had a deal,” he said, “What Kristin brings to the table is the character and the humility. He’s just like everyone else. He’s level headed but you can see the leadership at the same time. One thing we look for in our organisation is the makeup of a player. We trust the academy, we trust the people Kristin has around him to keep him level headed and keep his fire going, and we trust in the offseason he will get after it like all those other guys from I-Elite were getting after it when I was there. As a team we will push Kristin to further places than he’s ever been. Hopefully he makes it to the big leagues and makes the country proud.”
I-Elite was founded 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.
“This is a very special day for us all but even more special for Kristin and his family. Every signing has a special meaning and place in my heart but I must say that this is among the most exciting of them all because of the process of Kristin’s journey. All things happen at the right time,” Sands said, “Kristin started the programme at about nine or 10. He displayed a love and passion for the game and an ease and fluidity in his swing as a 10 year old. I remember watching him hit the ball to right centerfield and I got goosebumps. Kristin came into the programme as a boy trying to find his way but now he’s leaving us as a young man with a purpose and a plan.”
Munroe also became the fourth Bahamian and I-Elite prospect to sign during the current International Signing period following Adari Grant (St. Louis Cardinals), Evan Sweeting (San Diego Padres), and Steven Adderley (Miami Marlins).