After years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, Bahamian Kristin Munroe is seeing his dream turn into reality, inking a deal with a Major League Baseball (MLB) club, the Los Angeles Angels, over the weekend.
The 16-year-old made it official at the Balmoral Club on Thursday night, signing on the dotted line.
Munroe, who came up through the International Elite Sports Academy (I-Elite), thanked his coaches for playing a huge role in getting him to this point. He was with I-Elite from he was nine years old.
“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,” Munroe 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.’ To everyone here, listening and watching tonight, you all are my reason why and I won’t let you all down.”
Munroe became the third Bahamian to sign with the Angels since this renaissance of Bahamians signing with MLB clubs started about six years ago. Trent Deveaux and D’Shawn Knowles both signed with the Angels in 2017. Knowles is currently the Angels number eight prospect and Deveaux is the number 20 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
Assistant Director of International Scouting for the Angels Brian Cruz said that he and Angels’ Senior Director of International Scouting Brian Parker love what they see in Munroe.
“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,” Cruz said. “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 make an offer to Kristin. As soon as he got on board here, he called me and said, ‘Hey Brian, 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.
“What Kristin brings to the table is character and humility. He’s level-headed but you can see the leadership at the same time. One thing we look for in our organization 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 go further than he’s ever been. Hopefully, he makes it to the big leagues and makes the country proud.”
Cruz knows about the talent in The Bahamas. Thanks to a relationship with I-Elite, Cruz and the Angels will look to keep returning to The Bahamas to find more talented players like Knowles, Deveaux and Munroe.
Co-founder of I-Elite, Sands was on hand to show his support while the other co-founder, Albert Cartwright, was in Tampa, Florida, with some other players from the academy, working hard.
“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. “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 program as a boy trying to find his way but now he’s leaving us as a young man with a purpose and a plan.”
With Munroe’s signing, there are now four Bahamians to sign with MLB clubs during this international signing window. Munroe joins Adari Grant (St. Louis Cardinals), Steven Adderley (Miami Marlins) and Evan Sweeting (San Diego Padres).