As we get deeper into the draft patterns begin to emerge, and the Yankees have begun their own here, using the 222nd overall pick on first baseman Enrique “Kiko” Romero. He is the third infielder overall selected by New York, and the second of the day alternating with some pitching depth —the Bombers selected right-hander Cade Smith and left-hander Kyle Carr in-between infielder Roc Riggio earlier in the day.
Romero made a name for himself in Arizona this past year after spending the previous three seasons at Central Arizona Junior College. With the Wildcats, Romero slashed .343/.439/.721 and mashed 21 home runs, setting a school record by driving in 89 RBI in the process. He has the power production that could excel in the majors, showcasing 90th-percentile exit velocity according to his MLB.com scouting report, though it does come with a bit of swing and miss in his game. Still, Romero managed to keep his strikeout rate down to just 19.6 percent and displayed a strong ability to get on base with a 12.6-percent walk rate.
Romero has previous experience at shortstop and as a catcher in high school, plus a few games in the corners of the outfield for Arizona, but his profile suggests he’s best equipped to stay at first base. The position is a bit lacking in depth throughout the organization, so if Romero can adjust his power to the professional level there’s room for him to rise. Safe to say, his fellow Arizona alumnus and now-organizational teammate Austin Wells approves of the pick.
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