Three Bahamians drafted into Major League Baseball!
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: Jun 10, 2014
Building on the success of last year’s Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft for the local program, three Bahamian players were taken this past weekend in this year’s edition of the draft.
The Miami Marlins selected Anfernee Seymour with the 197th pick in the seventh round on Friday; the Toronto Blue Jays selected Todd Isaacs Jr. with the 654th pick in the 22nd round on Saturday, and the San Francisco Giants took Byron Murray with the 748th pick in the 25th round, also on Saturday.
Last year, Bahamian Jervis “Champ” Stuart was taken with the 176th pick overall, in the sixth round. Seymour and Isaacs both attended American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida, while Murray is a senior at Trinity Christian Academy in Lake Worth, Florida.
Most mock drafts had Seymour to be drafted in the top 100, but coming straight out of high school, it was reported that a lot of the teams passed on him due to a lack of experience.
“It takes hard work to be drafted. It is a good experience, but it is also a humbling one, as well. I knew the hard work that I put in to get my name called. For the first two rounds, I was a little nervous because I had not been selected, but I felt that my hard work would pay off eventually, and in the seventh round my name was called,” said Seymour.
“I will be reporting to rookie ball on Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida, and after I check in there, I will have to work my way up in the system until I get a chance to play in the big leagues. People from all over the world enter this draft each year, and I am really blessed to have this opportunity.”
Seymour also took to Facebook to acknowledge his supporters here in the country.
“Thank you to everyone who is congratulating me. All of this wouldn't have been accomplished without the help of you guys, mainly and especially the parents, coaches and my Freedom Farm family. You guys have been here for me through it all, and I would just like to say thank you. It doesn't stop here for me. I would just like to thank God for everything he has done for me and everything that he is going to continue to do for me. This is truly a blessing and a humbling experience for me. May God bless everyone who has helped me to accomplish my goals so far.”
Seymour, 19, still has more room to grow but has accomplished a milestone that most players only dream of.
The Marlins have been under the MLB’s microscope since moving to Miami in 2012; the team’s terrible season last year, after handing out several large-scale contracts, didn’t make the situation any better. This season, though, the team has shown signs of coming around, building a 32-29 win/loss record so far.
Isaacs, 18, is a 5’11” center fielder whose draft stock really grew in his senior season at American Heritage. Scouts loved that there was so much untapped potential in his game. They cited Isaacs’ foot speed as one of his strongest assets heading into the draft. The Blue Jays currently have a win/loss record of 38-26, and just recently signed three of their draft picks. Isaacs will also have to report to rookie ball before having a chance of getting on the major league roster.
“It’s really a blessing. I just thank God for the opportunity,” said Isaacs Jr. “A lot of people were not selected, and even though it was late, I’m just glad that I was chosen. The work is just beginning for me. I’m just glad to be in the system and to have an opportunity to show the world what I’m made of and what The Bahamas is made of. I’m excited to start playing and get this journey started. Right now, I think the hitting is the hardest part of the game, but I’m ready to work and get going.”
Unlike Seymour, Isaacs isn’t expected to report until mid-July. Both of them attended St. Augustine’s College in New Providence before moving to Florida to attend American Heritage. Seymour and Isaacs are both products of the Freedom Farm Baseball League (FFBL) in New Providence, while Murray, 18, is a product of the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN).