Home|Sports|SportsWalcott signs with the RangersJBLN product said he is grateful for the opportunity; more to sign this week Sheldon Longley Send an emailJanuary 16, 2023 106 3 minute readFacebook Twitter LinkedIn Share via Email
Sebastian Walcott, a product of the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN) and the International Elite (I-Elite) Sports Academy, became the latest Bahamian to sign with a major league professional organization, inking on the dotted line with the Texas Rangers at an upscale session at Sapodilla Restaurant on West Bay Street on Sunday.
In the coming days, led by Walcott, a quartet of young men are expected to sign with professional baseball clubs, and for the first time, two from The Bahamas are listed among the top 20 international prospects in this current class during Major League Baseball’s (MLB) international signing period.
Walcott, regarded as a tall and gifted shortstop with elite athleticism, is at number eight, and Janero Miller, who is at number 16, signs with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Chad Delancy signs with the Boston Red Sox at Fusion Superplex on Saturday, and Andrew Authur inks his name on the dotted line with the St Louis Cardinals at Fusion Superplex next week Sunday.
As for Walcott, he draws comparison to Miami Marlins’ infielder Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm Jr. – the seventh Bahamian to be called up to the majors. He is touted as one of the top talents in this latest boom of Bahamian baseball players. A total of 34 I-Elite baseball players have signed with major league organizations in the last eight years, and additionally, 20 I-Elite alumni have received high school and collegiate scholarships to attend school in the United States.
Walcott, who turns 17 on March 14, stands at 6’ 4” and weighs 190 pounds. He receives a $3.2 million signing bonus according to the Dallas Morning News.
Giving thanks to God first and foremost, his parents Jeffrey and Yael Walcott, older brother Seth with whom he shares a close and personal relationship, family and friends, JBLN, I-Elite and the Rangers organization, young Sebastian Walcott said he is intrigued by the possibility of becoming a major leaguer, an established star in the league, and even a hall of famer one day.
“Today is a day that I have always hoped and waited for,” said young Walcott. “After countless days on the baseball field training, signing day is finally here. Thanks to I-Elite and the Rangers organization for making this dream a reality. I am beyond excited for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to growing and excelling as a player.
“Thanks to my community – thanks for supporting me and embracing my talent for baseball. I’m proud to be a Bahamian and I’m looking forward to representing The Bahamas. I have always been taught that I could do anything through Christ who strengthens me and today proves that with God, anything is possible.”
The Rangers agreed to deals with 17 players on Sunday, including Walcott, who at number eight on MLB.com’s international prospect rankings, is their highest ranked signee. They also added 16-year-old outfielder Pablo Guerrero, son of Hall of Famer and former Rangers player Vladimir Guerrero and the brother of Vladimir Jr., who plays with the Toronto Blue Jays.
I-Elite, which continues to mentor and develop young Bahamian athletes, currently enrolls 24 young men from New Providence, Grand Bahama and Eleuthera.
“This has been a long journey and today and we have crossed the finish line of the first race,” said Geron Sands, president, co-founder and head coach of I-Elite. “This has been a team effort indeed. Sebastian is the epitome of hard work and determination. His competitive drive is at the top of the grading scale. He is a top international prospect, but most importantly, he is a great human being. I am confident that he will achieve whatever he sets his mind to. His ability and projections exceed expectations. We will be hearing his name for a very long time. He is destined to be great.”
Vice President/Assistant General Manager for Player Development and International Operations for the Rangers Ross Fenstermaker said they are ecstatic to have young Sebastian Walcott on board.
“This is a special day across professional baseball, and particularly for the Rangers,” said Fenstermaker. “We get to welcome Sebastian into our organization. This has been a long journey and an awesome one. I was told by Coach Geron that this one might be the best one yet, and I don’t think he’s wrong. Today, we get to make it official. We in the Texas Rangers are committed to seeing his development through to the very end. Congratulations and welcome to the organization.”
Fenstermaker was quoted in the Dallas Morning News, a daily newspaper serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, stating that Walcott is top end athlete with bat to ball skills, easy projectable power and elite arm strength. “He’s mature beyond his years with tools that play in games right now,” added Fenstermaker.
The Bahamas keeps turning heads with MLB signees which is a testament to the hard work of local coaches at JBLN, the Freedom Farm Baseball League, the I-Elite Sports Academy and Max D Sports Academy among other leagues and organizations.