Austin Romine (0-5, 2 K) - Tallying four multi-hit games in his final five contests, Austin Romine rallied to finish his first professional season with a .300 batting average. Of course the game I attended was the stinker of the bunch and he DH'd to boot! Nevertheless, I remain bullish on Romine's future as his fluid movements and hitting approach should lead to offensive success at higher levels. For those unfamiliar with Romine's game, he is a former 2nd round draft pick in the 2007 draft who is known more for his defensive ability than offensive punch. Fortunately for the Yankees, his hitting approach has turned out to be more advanced than expected.
- Looked listed height/weight of 6'2", 215 lbs.
- Thick through shoulders; built well for a teenager
- Relaxed in the box; Looked very confident
- Short, compact stroke
- Good, quiet load
- Plus bat speed; Only Montero had better
- Worked up the middle; Line drives to center & left-center both caught
- Chased slider low & away
With a number of top catching prospects expected to break through next season, Romine should be a player who helps fill the catching prospect void. A borderline top 10 prospect at the position, continued success in 2009 will cement his status. However, as a former catcher, experience is key to understanding and playing the position well. I worry his splitting time with Jesus Montero will keep him from reaching his defensive potential. Especially with both Romine and Montero having success on offense and the possibility of both moving up the ladder together. It just seems like a huge waste having him spend 50 games at DH when he had 18 passed balls and threw out only 20% of runners attempting to steal. All-around catchers like Romine do not come around all that often. For the sake of the development of both Montero and Romine, it may be best for the Yankees to move Montero off the position sooner rather than later.