Minor league players assigned to their respective teams

A quartet of Bahamian professional baseball players have been assigned to their Minor League Baseball (MiLB) affiliates of their respective parent Major League Baseball (MLB) clubs, as they look to get back in action this season. Their 2020 seasons were canceled because of the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The four players who have been assigned so far are the Pittsburgh Pirates Tahnaj Thomas, the New York Mets Warren Saunders, the Texas Rangers Keithron Moss and the Los Angeles Angels D’Shawn Knowles.

MiLB restructured its leagues because there are less teams. These leagues are Triple A, Double A, High A, Low A and Rookie Ball.

Thomas, the number seven prospect for the Pirates, will play for the Pirates’ High-A affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, that plays their home games at the First National Bank Field in Greensboro, North Carolina. They compete in the High-A East League in the South Division.

The last time the right-handed pitcher was in action was in 2019 when he finished with two wins and three losses. He started 12 games. The Grand Bahamian’s earned run average (ERA) was 3.17, and in the 48.1 innings he pitched, he struck out 59 batters.

The former infielder turned pitcher was first signed by the Cleveland Indians in 2016.

The Grasshoppers will get their season underway on Tuesday, May 4 when they take on the Hickory Crawdads.

Saunders is set to play for the Low-A St. Lucie Mets that plays their home games in Port St. Lucie, Florida. They will be playing in the Low-A Southeast League in the East Division. In 2019, he played his first season. In 127 at-bats, he had 41 hits inclusive of one home run. He recorded a batting average of .323. Saunders scored 25 runs and had 20 runs batted in (RBIs). He also had three stolen bases.

Opening night for the St. Lucie Mets is set for Tuesday May 4, at which time they will take on the Jupiter Hammerheads.

Moss will play for the Down East Wood Ducks that plays out of Kinston, North Carolina, in the Low-A East League in the Central Division. Moss signed with the Rangers organization back in 2017 and last played in 2019 in the Arizona League. In his 120 at-bats that season, he had 37 hits and 27 runs scored. The number 28 prospect of the Rangers homered twice and had 14 RBIs. His batting average was .308.

They will open their season against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers on Tuesday, May 4.

Knowles was expected to move up the ladder for the Angels last season, but the pandemic slowed that down a bit. He will look to impress team officials in the Low-A West League in the South Division when he plays for the Inland Empire 66ers. They play their home games in San Bernardino, California. Knowles last played in the Pioneer League in 2019 at which time he played 64 games. In his 253 at-bats, he had 61 hits, 38 runs scored and finished with a batting average of .241. He had six home runs and 28 RBIs.

On opening night, the 66ers will play the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. That game is also set for Tuesday, May 4.

Fans are allowed at the games, as long as COVID-19 guidelines are followed, and the season is set to wrap up in September.