Name: Austin Romine
Date of Birth: November 22, 1988
Drafted out of: High School – El Toro HS, Lake Forest, CA
Height/Weight: 6’1″ / 195 pounds
Stats: None available
Scouting: Austin Romine is a high school catcher with some good tools and some less good tools. He is considered a bat heavy catcher, he has a rocket arm, but his defensive approach leaves something to be desired. Offensively, he has a somewhat low-effort swing, but he consistently makes solid contact. His unorthodox swing is something that the coaches may want to tamper with. He has good gap power and could grow into average home run power; I was unable to find out about his approach at the plate – taking pitches and that sort of thing. He’s not the fastest guy on the block.
His defensive approach is inconsistent – at times he looks really good and at times he can look uncomfortable. On the 20-80 scale (80 is best), he grades out as an 80 in arm strength, which is always good from a catcher. High school runners rarely tried stealing on him but his arm is fairly accurate.
An interesting note that helps his case is that he was playing through a somewhat flukey wrist injury all last season, which probably sapped some of his best stuff. He apparently has a good health history, though in high school that means nothing.
Signability: Romine has a college commitment, but is likely to sign with the Yankees anyways. He has expressed an interest in signing soon and playing as soon as possible.
Other Info: His dad, Kevin Romine, played for the Red Sox, and his brother played college ball and was drafted by the Angels in the fifth round out of college. I have no statistical evidence supporting this, but I get the impression that when players have relatives who have major league experience and/or have relatives who are playing currently, it motivates them to try and reach the majors, and it also gives them an outlet to talk to for advice. I get the impression that this means that they have better chances of reaching the majors.
My Take: Romine is the catcher that Yankees fans have been crying for for years. We do have Francisco Cervelli, but it never hurts to have depth, especially at a position like catcher where players rarely stay at the position.
I rarely agree with the decision of drafting for need, but Romine is pretty good, and the Yankees can afford to draft for need early on because in the later rounds they can get “signability” picks. When I first heard his name, I had no clue who he was, but he seems pretty good and I get the impression that he’s pretty good. The Yankees will likely make sure that his wrist is fully recovered from the injury and then ease him into their short-season league.
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