Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Rays list
The Top Ten
1. Enny Romero
Height/Weight: 6’3” 165 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2008, Dominican Republic
Previous Ranking: NR
2013 Stats: 0.00 ERA (4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 K, 4 BB) at major-league level, 0.00 ERA (8 IP, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB) at Triple-A Durham, 2.76 ERA (140.1 IP, 110 H, 110 K, 73 BB) at Double-A Montgomery
The Tools: 7 potential FB; 7 potential CB
What Happened in 2013: After a somewhat disappointing 2012 campaign, Romero failed to crack the top 10 in a strong Rays system, but after a solid season in Double-A, nice flash appearances in the Futures Game and in the majors, and a downturn in status for the farm, Romero jumps the queue to claim the top prospect distinction.
Strengths: Excellent size; remaining projection; loose arm; big arm strength; fastball works in the low-mid 90s; can sit in plus-plus velocity and touch higher; good movement; hard curveball has wipeout potential; slider velocity and two-plane break; changeup will flash above-average potential in the mid-80s with late action.
Weaknesses: Well below-average command; release point/slot inconsistency; can get around on the curve and lose snap/rotation; more slurvy action and less bite; changeup is often overthrown and true; more deliberate with secondary stuff.
Overall Future Potential: 6; no. 3 starter
Realistic Role: 5; late-innings reliever (setup/closer)
Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; 27 starts at Double-A level
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: As a likely reliever, Romero is one of the least valuable of all the organizational top guns in this series in the fantasy world. Even if he does stick in the rotation, the lack of control will go a long way toward suppressing his potential in WHIP and wins. And if he ends up in the Tampa Bay pen soon, both the logjam of relievers ahead of him and the disincentive for small market teams to give pre-arb players save opportunities will likely leave you looking elsewhere for saves.
The Year Ahead: My opinions on Romero have often been schizophrenic, as I dance between the reality of his skill set and the fantasy about what he has the potential to become. In bursts, Romero is a legit late-innings weapon, a lengthy lefty with a mid-90s heater (he can go get more) and a bat-missing breaking ball. The command is very limiting, but several industry sources suggested Romero could still find success in a rotation as an effectively wild type, and I’m starting to come around to the idea that he could find his way as a starter. Romero has made 77 minor-league starts the last three seasons, so he has the durability to take the ball every fifth day and log innings. His biggest roadblock is his command, and any step forward on that front could propel him into a major-league rotation where the stuff will most definitely play.
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