Texas Rangers draft preview: Seth Romero.
The 2017 MLB draft is on June 12, 2017. The Texas Rangers have two first round picks this year — their own selection, and a compensatory pick for losing Ian Desmond -- and both are late in the first round, at #26 and #29.
In advance of the draft, I am going to offer capsule reports on some of the guys who the Rangers could take with their picks.
Today, we are looking at (former) University of Houston lefthanded pitcher Seth Romero.
The “former” part of the above sentence is the reason why we’re even bothering to write up Romero as part of this series. Romero is a lefthanded college starting pitcher with three pitches and the ability to move quickly up the pro ladder, and Baseball America calls him a top-10 talent. However, Romero was suspended once in 2016 by the University of Houston, was suspended again this season, and after being reinstated lasted just one week before being kicked off the team. As a result, Romero is sliding on draft boards due to concerns about his makeup and whatever else has gotten him banished.
Romero’s stuff is legit, however, as he throws in the mid-90s, as well as sporting a slider and changeup. Baseball America ranks him at #22 even with the character issues, saying he pounds the zone while still missing bats. Keith Law’s latest mock draft has Romero going to Washington at #25 -- one spot before the Rangers make their first pick — but Law cautions that Romero has “a bad delivery and really bad makeup.”
Jim Callis’s latest mock draft doesn’t have Romero going in the first round, but also says that if a team uses a first rounder on Romero, it would be Washington. Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock also has Romero falling out of the first round, while the latest BA mock has Romero going at #24 to Boston.
The Rangers are known for placing particularly emphasis on makeup in evaluating players, and given Romero’s issues, it wouldn’t be surprising if they had him off their board altogether. On the other hand, this is a team that has a lack of starting pitching with upside in the upper minors, and the idea of getting a guy who could fill that hole, and who has top of the draft talent, in the late first round could be a risk that the team sees worth taking.
Some video of Romero is below: