As Red Sox newcomer Mikey Romero begins his rise through the team’s farm system, he’ll have a familiar face to cheer him on (and maybe even fill the infield with him): the No. of last year, Marcelo Mayer.
Mayer and Romero have been friends and have known each other for years. Both played in elite circuits and both played high school baseball in California – Mayer at Eastlake HS in Chula Vista near the border and Romero at Orange Lutheran, just over an hour north. from Los Angeles.
When news broke that the Red Sox beat Romero in the first round, Mayer immediately took to Twitter.
“Let’s go Mikey!!!! Let’s get to work bro!” mayer wroteto which Romero replied, “Brother!! LET’S GO!”
In an interview with Prospects Live on YouTube, as first reported by Chris Hatfield of Sox Outlook on Twitter, Romero opened up about his friendship with Mayer. Pressed to find out who the better hitter is, Romero was quick to tell himself.
“I’ll say me,” Romero said with a smile. “I love Marcelo, but 100% think it’s me. I love him, that’s all I’m going to say. I think it’s me.
Romero conceded that Mayer had a better arm and better speed, but he thinks his internal clock at shortstop is better. On the court, he thinks the pair are a draw.
“I think I have a clearer double play round, but I think he has a nice back hand,” Romero said. “I think it could go either way.”
Mayer and Romero both say they’re shaping their game after Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.
“Seager isn’t the flashiest guy,” Romero told Prospects Live. “He just does the job.”
Here are three more things to know about Romero.
It’s already approved… by Big League Chew.
In August, a photographer snapped a photo of Romero lining up a Grounder blowing a gigantic gum bubble. Famous chewing gum brand Big League Chew reached out to Romero via Instagram to see if he was interested in a partnership.
“I was actually not sure at first if I was going to be able to close the deal,” Romero told Prospects Live. “I looked into it and saw that California allowed their high school athletes to do NIL stuff, so luckily I was able to fight them back and be on their team.”
Romero made sure to share the wealth.
“I’m able to connect my teammates with Big League Chew,” he added.
Scouts love his shots
One thing you can say with some confidence: Romero won’t hit much. He said the MLB network he hit just twice in more than 90 at-bats in his senior season in high school, and scouts rave about his ability to make contact.
“Romero has a nice natural left-hand swing and forward feel for hitting,” Baseball America wrote in a scouting report. “He identifies pitches well and frequently places the barrel on the ball to make consistent contact, including against high speed and quality stuff.”
Still, Romero will need to get much stronger to add power to his profile.
“Although Romero makes a lot of contact, it’s often soft contact,” Baseball America wrote. “He has a slender build and doesn’t have the strength to do damage even when he squares the balls. He needs to make substantial strength gains to reach his potential as an above-average hitter with below-average power, with opinions sharply divided as to whether he’ll be able to.
It is expected to be a sub-slot selection
Romero was a surprise pick — most mock drafts moved him through to the second round, but the Red Sox took him with the 24th pick.
Some clarity came when the Red Sox made their compensation pick after failing to reach a deal with second-round pick Jud Fabian last year. After Romero, the Red Sox took Cutter Coffey, another high school shortstop but a very different prospect from Romero — powerful with a big arm who could end up a third baseman. The duo could even out since Coffey is would have should be an over-slot selection, while Romero is most likely to accept a deal under his draft slot.
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