The top recruit of the 2023 international signing class for the Texas Rangers, Sebastian Walcott officially inked his deal with the franchise 📝
by RENALDO DORSETT
A busy 2023 MLB international signing period for Bahamian prospects began with the Texas Rangers’ Sebastian Walcott.
Walcott, a 6’3” 170 pound shortstop out of the International Elite Sports Academy, signed his minor league deal Sunday afternoon before a large contingent of friends and family at the Sapodilla Restaurant.
Walcott was ranked at No. 8 in MLB Pipline’s international prospect rankings, the highest ranking of any Bahamian prospect.
“With all the love and support I had to get here, I wanted to make sure you all know how much I love and appreciate you. I would like to thank iElite and the Texas Rangers for giving me this opportunity,” Walcott said to his crowd of supporters, “I am proud to be a Bahamian and represent the greatest country in the world.”
Josh Boyd, the Rangers’ Assistant General Manager, said Walcott’s addition to the organization will be celebrated as they look collectively to the journey ahead.
“This is a special day across all of baseball. It’s a special day for the Rangers for us to be able to welcome Sebastian into the organization. It started when I got a video of a 12 year old in the batting cage somewhere in Nassau and Geron Sands told me – ‘don’t miss on this guy’ – I don’t think he was wrong,” Boyd said, “We are committed to making sure we see his commitment through to the very end. While this is a celebratory day it’s not the final step in the journey. There is a lot of work ahead.”
Sands, the Director of I-Elite, said he credits Walcott for his determination along the journey.
“A lot of folks don’t understand the years of sacrifice and commitment to sign a professional contract. It’s been a pleasure to coach and train Sebastian in his time at I-Elite. His competitive drive is the top on the grading scale and never wants to lose,” he said, “I’m confident with the support of his family he will be the best version of himself. Sebastian Walcott is a name we should all get used to hearing.”
Hamilton Wise, Rangers’ Director of International Scouting said Walcott’s support system will continue to be the driving force behind his success.
The top recruit of the 2023 international signing class for the @Rangers, Sebastian Walcott officially inked his deal with the franchise 📝#bahamas #bahamasbaseball #texasrangers #rangers #242totheworld🌎🇧🇸 pic.twitter.com/yqY8Y4bPLL
— 10th Year Seniors (@10thYearSeniors) January 15, 2023
“I can’t really put into words how excited we are. This is a team enterprise with how we approach baseball and we have all had the honor to get to know this fine young man and fine player,” he said to Walcott, “You’re going to have this support system forever. These will be the people you call when it’s not going great and these will be the people that will share in your jubilation and success.”
Walcott got his start in the game at the Junior Baseball League of Nassau.
“I want to thank the coaches at JBLN who gave Sebastian the foundation to become the star he is today. It’s been a long process, a lot of moving parts, and a lot of tough conversations with his family, especially his dad Jeff,” I-Elite’s Albert Cartwright said, “It’s been a tough few years, but Sebas always said his goal is to make it to the hall of fame and he has Hall of Fame potential. All that hard work he has put in for the last few years, that will continue.”
According to MLB Pipeline, Walcott received scouting grades of – hit: 60, power: 50, run: 50, arm: 60, field: 55, and overall: 55.
“The Bahamas has emerged as a hotbed for international talent in recent years, and Walcott is carrying on the tradition. In fact, some believe the long and lean shortstop could eventually rival Miami’s Jazz Chisholm as the best international prospect to come from the Bahamas because of his elite athleticism, physical projection and baseball IQ,” his MLB Pipeline analysis said, “At the plate, Walcott has a chance to hit for average with plus power potential. He’s already an above-average runner and he could be a potential base-stealer in the future. For now, he projects to hit near the top of the order, but he could evolve into a middle-of-the-lineup hitter that drives in runs.”
According to the Dallas Morning News, The Rangers have $4.14 million to spend on international free agents. Their pool was reduced by $1 million for this year because they signed two players – Corey Seager and Marcus Semien – a year ago who rejected qualifying offers. They lost $500,000as part of signing each.