This guy is Stefen Romero. He is in the Mariners organization. He hits the ball fairly hard, some might say with ‘pop’, and he is on the cusp of playing for the big squad in Seattle after having spent this last season in Triple-A Tacoma.
His name is Stefen Romero, and he is a Mariners hot prospect.
I like Romero and the pop he has off the bat, but a question that needs to be asked right now by the Mariners organization is whether or not they are willing to give up these hot prospects for proven major leaguers. (As evidenced last offseason, GM Jack Z was willing to giver Arizona everything and the kitchen sink for Justin Upton… I am glad he didn’t end up in Seattle).
So with this need for starting outfielders with right-handed power, what do the M’s do with Romero? It is risky to think he can be a steady producer for an already young team in 2014, and we really just don’t know what he is made of yet. For him to be a positive contributor to next season’s potential success is too much to seriously consider right now.
What then, do the M’s do with Romero? He is really at his highest sell ceiling, and I think he could be a piece in a trade that nets the Mariners their much-needed offensively inclined right-handed outfielder.
Let’s look at Romero’s numbers first:
His triple slash this season in Tacoma was .277/.331/.448 with 11 home runs, 74 RBIs, 23 doubles and 4 triples. His walks were a little low and his strikeouts a little high (typical for someone with his kind of power). He played in 93 games.
This offseason he is down in the Arizona Fall League, and really hasn’t done too much in his 17 games, posting a .186/.262/.271 with one home run, 5 RBIs, with 4 walks and 18 strikeouts. Not all that impressive.
However, as Dan Hughes mentioned in this Saturday’s new roundup, Romero cranked 2 home runs in 2 at-bats during the Fall League stars game. That got people’s attention quite a bit, and at this juncture in his development this is the best time to sell high.
And I think the Mariners should pull the trigger on trading Romero. If I could have it my way, I would love to see him be a part of a package that would bring Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo to Seattle.
With infield and outfield experience, Romero would provide good depth for the LA Angels of Anaheim in their farm system while the Mariners get their hands on a centerfielder and a power corner outfield righty who can also play first base in Trumbo. Granted, such a trade would have to include someone like James Paxton or Erasmo Ramirez.
But a prospect like Romero gives the Mariners the opportunity to pay with potential for guys who have the experience and the body of work to perform consistently for the M’s. The young talent is present and ready to emerge in Seattle, but a few effective veterans in key positions would prove monumental.
And those kind of guys can be had this offseason as long as Jack Z is willing to part ways with a hot prospect like Stefen Romero.