Seth Romero’s tenure as a pitcher at the University of Houston did not end the way he would have liked, but he has the confidence of the Nationals and is looking to prove he was worthy of a high draft pick.
Baseball America agrees that Romero is a talent and he already ranks No. 5 on their top 10 Nats prospect list. But national writer Carlos Collazo contends Romero will need to mature baseball-wise and as a man in his first few years as a professional to turn into the pitcher he is capable of becoming.
No. 5 LHP Seth Romero
“For us at Baseball America, when we are doing the 2017 prospect rankings for the draft, I think it’s pretty safe to say Seth Romero is a top 15 overall talent, maybe top 10, depending on which guy on the staff you are talking to,” Collazo said. “He’s a guy who certainly would have gone much higher if there weren’t those makeup questions, the suspension and later getting kicked off the team at Houston, and that’s a real question that he is going to have to answer as he continues to work through the minors and develop himself both on the field and off the field.
“He’s got to improve in those areas. It’s not like it was a one off at Houston. There were multiple issues that he dealt with, so some real questions there, but he is still a young kid. I don’t want to put anything on him. We talk about this a lot: You’re in college, obviously we’ve all been there - young, making stupid decisions. I don’t think there is anything that people questioned him being a bad kid, maybe just not making the best decisions.”
As far as a baseball player, Collazo says Romero is very good, and he is a left-hander.
“When you get into his stuff, he’s got a plus fastball and a plus slider already,” Collazo said. “His slider is one of the best pitches (in) the farm system for the Nats overall. He has a solid changeup as well. With the fastball, it’s a plus pitch already, in the mid-to-upper 90s mph, but has really great life. That’s what’s going to help that pitch play even more down the line.”
Romero, 21, notched seven starts on the season after arriving out of the first round in the 2017 draft, earning a 0-1 record with a 4.91 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 22 innings. Collazo believes with a few tweaks in Romero’s delivery, it’s only a matter of time before the left-hander demonstrates his immense talent to succeed at the pro level.
“His starts in pro ball were probably not what he wanted, he had an ERA over 5.00 in short-season ball with Auburn,” Collazo concluded. “But he’s a guy I wouldn’t be too concerned about struggling in the low minors once he gets stretched out and figure some things out. He needs to refine his delivery a little bit, it’s kind of funky in it, has a lot of moving parts. But if he can kind of repeat that consistently, I’m pretty confident the Nationals guys will figure him out and get him to some repeatable mechanics to help his stuff play up to where it should be playing.”