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On the Road with Pirates Tahnaj Thomas

On the road with Tahnaj Thomas

Jeff Francis and On the Road with Pirates Tahnaj Thomas. Thomas the Pirates #18 top prospect is starting to pitch well.

The Ultimate Road Trip:

Roadtrip to Norfolk, Virginia started with two days stop in Richmond, Va. Where the Freedom Farm 9U baseball team won the M.J.B.L inner-city classic championships.

On the day before that game on Facebook, I asked Tahnaj when your next start is? And he replied tomorrow; I replyed I may drive up to watch you pitch. And he said I would leave the ticket at the gate.

Hence after finding out the game was in Tennessee against the Elizabethton Twins. I proceed to google for directions — a five-plus hours drive hmmm.

Heading out 11 am after the first game of the 9U team game was an ideal time for me to hit the road.

West Virginia a Distraction:

As a result, of my love/like for the Mountain State, it caused me two hours and forty-five minute drive time.

I missed my turn at interstate highways I-64 west and I-81 south. All because of  West Virginia. Consequently, I realized my mistake about an hour out of Charleston, WV.

Just in the nick of time:

On the road with Pirates Tahnaj Thomas. I made it to the game in the nick of time to watch him strike out the 9th batter of his start.

A Chance at career win #1?
On the Road with Tahnaj Thomas

Tahnaj Thomas. The Pirates #18 Top Prospect


After giving one run in the 5th, Thomas left the game with a 6 to 1 lead and made way for the Bull-Pen to seal the win for him. With a break in the action, I said to Tahnaj looks like you will get your first career win. He smiled, and I said if the bullpen holds up. You see he Tahnaj knows that sometimes games are lost by blown saves. And it happened to him a few times.

Beyond anything, He could have done. We watch the Twins rallied to win the game with a walk-off grand slam; I was so close to watching Tahnaj win his first career minor league game.

Well, there is always a next time for him, continue to grow on the mound.

After the Game Chat:

After the game, I went to chat with Tahnaj about his season so far, and how he was feeling. I ask him when will pitch beyond five innings? He told the game on the July 19th, a game against the Johnson City Cardinals. He felt like he would have gone more than five innings.

Subsequently, the umpire warned both teams pitchers about throwing at the batters. Consequently, Tahnaj ended up hitting a better in the 3rd inning that saw him receiving a six-game suspension.

All apart of a learning experience.

Gaining Confidence on the Mound:

Tahnaj Thomas is gaining confidence.


In summary, Tahnaj Thomas is leading his team in strikeout with 42, in 29.1 innings pitched. His era has dropped to 3.68, and batters are hitting 217 against him.

Also, I met Tahnaj talking to a Twins scout name Deron DJ Johnson, who played baseball with a former Pirates player friend of mind. Winston Seymour. So we talked about the new breed of young players coming from the islands.

Finally, I am looking forward to Tahnaj Thomas’s next pitching start, and my next road trip to watch him. Road Trip anyone???


Jeffrey was born on April 29th, 1961, in Nassau, Bahamas to Rejoiner Ann Rolle and Jerome James Francis Etienne. Married to Andrea G. Rolle-Francis, they have two daughters; Janae Latoya Francis, a graduate of Allegany College of Maryland, and Jessica Lee Francis a graduate Potomac State College West Virginia University in Kyser West Virginia. Jeffrey was coaching the sport of baseball from 1980 at the age of 18 years old because he loved the sport as a kid. He started listening to the game over the radio out of Miami Florida in the late 60s and in the early 70s started playing the game locally in various local leagues right up to the premier senior league; a league where all of the current Bahamian minor leaguers played. In 1982, Jeffrey had an invite to a three day tryout with the New York Yankees in Hollywood Florida, which was an awesome experience that is lasting a life time memory for him. Jeffrey has been following the Bahamian baseball players in the minor leagues since 1999 with Angelo Burrows, but found greater interest with the signing of Antoan Richardson in 2005. He also writes a year end review on their play on his Facebook page, Baseball Bahamas, and he has a website with the same name. He has a great following and would love to expose the baseball players to a bigger worldwide audience. He has a good relationship with all the players because he personally coached most of them. His favorite MLB Team is the Detroit Tigers from 1969.

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