Baseball has always been a sport with a strong tradition in the United States, but in recent years, it has become increasingly popular in other countries as well. The Bahamas is no exception, and it is the birthplace of two up-and-coming baseball stars who are making their way to the world of professional baseball. Their names are Tahnaj Thomas and Chavez Young, and they are both from Freeport, a city on Grand Bahama Island. Not only do they have a chance to be teammates at the Major League level with the Pittsburgh Pirates this year, but they are also playing in the World Baseball Classic for Great Britain, a testament to their skills on the field.
At CBO, we had the privilege of meeting Thomas and Young when they were about 10 years old during our annual baseball tournament, the Grand Bahama Sports Festival, in Freeport. Even at that young age, it was clear that they had a special talent for the game. They were both enthusiastic and eager to learn, and they were not afraid to ask questions or take risks on the field.
Thomas and Young’s paths to professional baseball have been different, but both have been successful. Tahnaj Thomas is a 23 year old pitcher, who started his professional baseball career in the minors with the Cleveland Indians in 2017. He has had a couple successful seasons pitching in the minors over the last few years. In 2022, he switched to relief and rebounded to go 5-4 and recorded three saves, while maintaining an ERA of 3.02 in 37 games played for the Altoona Curve. During this period, he struck out 52 batters in a total of 50 and two-third innings pitched. Chavez Young is a 25 year old center, right and left fielder who was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 39th round of the 2016 amateur draft. He was also the starting DH for the Great Britain national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Since then he has kept up his hard work and keeps developing into a better player. Despite their different paths to professional baseball, both Thomas and Young share a common goal: to make it to the Major Leagues. A goal that both stand a chance of achieving this year with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In addition, both Thomas and Young were two of the five Bahama natives selected to be on the British team in the 2022 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Due to the historical ties between the Bahamas and Great Britain, players from the Bahamas are eligible to compete on behalf of the Great Britain team in the World Baseball Classic. This presents a unique opportunity for them both to showcase their skills on the world stage.
Their success has not only been a source of pride for themselves and their families but also for the Bahamas as a whole. They are proof that talent can be found in all corners of the world, and that with hard work and perseverance, dreams can come true. CBO is thrilled to have witnessed their talent at a young age and been part of their baseball journey. As they continue to grow and develop as players, there is no doubt that Thomas and Young will continue to make a name for themselves in the world of professional baseball.