Minnesota Twins Drafts Christopher In The 20th Round

Shampoy Christopher, left and Terry "Chino" Chinnery, who pointed him in the direction of catching as a 4-year old

Shampoy Christopher, left and Terry “Chino” Chinnery, who pointed him in the direction of catching as a 4-year old

By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway

Shamoy Christopher, 18, became just the third BVI player to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team, when he was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 20th round and the 603rd player selected over the weekend.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, I still have all summer to decide,” Christopher who completed his freshman year at Roane State Community College in Tennessee, where they finished 23-23 and was offered $100,000 said. “I wanted more than that, knowing the potential I have and what I’m capable of at this age. Right now, my decision is to go back to school and not take it until next year. I do appreciate the fact that they gave me the opportunity to sign this year, but I said no and I’ll take it next year. There’s no particular team I’m interested in. Hopefully, I’ll sign somewhere good and progress to the next level.”

Christopher joins Andre “Shabba” Pickering, an infielder who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the early 1980s and Jeremey Penn, who the Los Angeles Angels wanted to sign as a free agent the day after he graduated from the Elmore Stoutt High School in 2007 for $40,000. He was drafted by the Phillies in the 50th round of the 2007 draft and in 2008, the San Francisco Giants drafted the right handed pitcher in the 37th round. He went on to Western Oklahoma State College before being injured.

Christopher, a catcher said to be drafted higher, he need to put on more muscle mass on his 6ft 3 inch 205 pound frame getting up to 215-220 and hit a little bitter. “Not .310, .345 and above,” the switch hitter noted. “I’m shooting to get up around 220 next year.”

On Monday afternoon, he was working out at the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park and recalled that it was former St. John resident Terry Chinnery—better known as Chino—who got him started as a four-year old.

“He pushed me to be a catcher because that’s where my potential was,” Christopher, a sports management major reflected. “I love catching. Nothing else better in the world than catching and playing baseball. It’s just my pride and passion since a kid. It’s been a grind—eat, sleep, play baseball and workout. That’s about it.”

Christopher described it as a ‘huge transition’ going from the BVI with limited opportunities and games, to playing high school and college baseball in Tennessee.

“Baseball in the states is definitely more competitive that it is down here and you get more opportunities to play,” he noted, coming from a place that doesn’t have a baseball field. “It’s pretty impressive how far I’ve gotten. I have been putting in the work since I was four. I had hopes and dreams (of playing professionally) because I feel like I had it.”

Chinnery recalled his mon coming to practice with the Hawks softball team from Sea Cows Bay, when he began working with Christopher.

“I look at kids when I work with them to see where they could best make it to the next level,” explained Chinnery who returned to the BVI in 1997 and has been developing baseball and softball players, including working with Jharel Cotton, who represented the BVI at the Caribbean Championships in Curacao, on a team he considered the ‘best BVI team ever assembled.’

“People don’t really know how good Tortola is in baseball. When I worked with Christopher, I saw that he couldn’t run but had some abilities and the best thing for him was to catch. So I worked with him and taught him how to switch hit. I took him to play in St. John and from there, he was picked up by a St. Thomas team to represent them then eventually went off to the states to attend high school. So he has been playing ball a long time.”