We have gone over four prospects so far and three of them were outfielders (Veen, Montgomery and Goodman) and a starting pitcher (Albright). Two of those outfielders fit the mold of what the Rockies used to target, and that is very athletic, raw, high potential players. The next player on our list has good upside, but he makes this list because of his high floor.
Drew Romo's defense gives him a high floor, but he is still full of potential
The Rockies nabbed the switch-hitting Texas product with the 35th overall pick in the 2020 draft. The high school product was praised for his defensive ability coming into the draft. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 35th overall player and gave him 60 grades in both arm and field. Drafting high school catchers is one of the riskiest picks you can make. There is so much that has to go right for them to develop and being major league regulars. Romo squashed a lot of those question marks with his defense and leadership as the starting catcher for the U.S. 18-and-under national team for two years straight.
"Romo's prowess behind the plate allowed him to lock down the starting job on the U.S. 18-and-under national team for the last two years. A potential Gold Glover, he possesses soft hands, advanced receiving skills and a strong arm with a quick release. He also garners praise for his leadership ability, work ethic and baseball IQ."- MLB Pipeline during the 2020 MLB Draft
Romo didn't get to play after getting drafted due to the COVID shortened year, but he impressed in 2021 at Single-A Fresno, it's impressive that his first professional assignment was to Single-A as a high school catcher. He slashed .314/.345/.439 with six home runs and 23 stolen bases. In 2022, he moved up to High-A Spokane and regressed a little bit (but this was an aggressive assignment for Romo, and he dealt with a hand injury for a good chunk of the year). He slashed .254/.321/.372 with just five home runs in 102 games, he did steal 18 bases though. 2023 was a solid rebound year (and another aggressive assignment from the Rockies) as he slashed .259/.317/.445 with 13 home runs and six stolen bases with a majority of the games at Double-A Hartford but spending four games in Triple-A Albuquerque.
Here are some highlights from the 2023 season, courtesy of The Hub for Baseball Highlights
Romo has a lot of potential, as an above average defender, and a switch-hitting catcher with an improving bat. 2023 should see him spend a lot of the year in Triple-A and the Rockies shouldn't be too aggressive with him. He will be just 21-years old for a majority of the year, which is incredibly young for a high school catcher to make a debut, but I would expect him to make his major league debut later in the year if everything goes well. Romo has the potential to be an elite defensive catcher that is the leader of a pitching staff, while providing 15-20 home run pop and the ability to be a 230+ hitter. I have a feeling that when we do our prosect rankings next year, I will be kicking myself for putting Romo this low on the list.
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