Position: Third Baseman
DOB: September 24, 1986
The Minnesota Twins signed Deibinson Romero as a non-drafted free agent on July 21, 2004. A sweet-swinging corner infielder, Romero has made quite a name for himself in the Twins organization over the past two seasons, and was a key member of the Beloit Snappers in 2008. If he continues to hit the way he has early in his career, the Twins may have found a future Major Leaguer.
Romero began his Twins career in 2005, when he was a member of the Dominican Summer League Twins. In his first stint of professional baseball, Romero struggled mightily with the stick, batting a career-low .206. He struck out a lot, looked overmatched at the plate, and made the kind of mistakes that most young prospects do.
During the 2006 season, Romero really began to blossom at the plate. He lifted his batting average 100 points, and started to show the kind of gap power he is beginning to be known for. Aside from setting career highs in every statistical category, Romero picked up over a hit per game, en-route to his first .300 season. After hitting only one extra-base hit in 49 games in 2005, Romero had 16 in 50 games in 2006, showing he was ready for short-season ball in 2007.
In 2007, Romero had a breakout season for the Elizabethton Twins, helping the team with the Appalachian League title. Romero batted .316 for the Elizabethton Twins, earning league All-Star honors, and showed tremendous pop at the plate. Romero hit nine home runs, smacked 16 doubles, and drove in 52 runs in 66 games.
Romero also made an appearance for the Beloit Snappers at the end of the 2007 season, helping the Snappers reach the Midwest League Championship Series. In eight games with the team, including the playoffs, Romero drove in eight runs, and also smacked a home run.
During the 2008 season, Romero battled injuries for the Beloit Snappers, and played to mixed results. He hit the ball well in spots, while struggling in others, and saw a drop in his power numbers. His season ended when he broke his leg making a spectacular catch while falling into the home dugout. It was his second stint on the disabled list.
This Spring, Romero was in Major League camp, but was one of the first cuts of the Spring. He was optioned to High-A Fort Myers, where he is likely to start as the team's third baseman.
Batting and Power: At the beginning of his career, Romero showed the kind of inconsistencies at the plate that most young prospects do. He did not hit for any kind of power, struck out a lot, and did not take many pitches. However, as he has gained experience, Romero has developed into one of the better young position player prospects in the Twins lower levels, and has added the longball to his ability to hit for a high average. It is almost scary to think how good he could be if he continues to develop from year to year.
Baserunning and Speed: Romero has decent speed, and over the course of a full season of games he should be able to steal around 20 bags. One problem he has is that he gets caught stealing a bunch, but that number should go down as he gets more experience on the base paths. Romero is a very good base runner who knows the game despite being young. It will be interesting to see how healed he is from the broken leg, though he appears healthy.
Defense: This is where I feel Romero could stand out from other third base prospects in the Twins organization. Romero is a very good defensive third baseman, who has a very strong arm. In the future, Romero could also play some outfield as well as first base, due to the fact that he is a very athletic young prospect. He will likely be the Miracle everyday third baseman in 2009, though he will also see some time at first.
ETA. 2011. I originally believed that Romero could make his way to Minnesota by 2010, but the leg injured has delayed that a bit. I still believe he is a future Major Leaguer, though he is going to have to stay healthy in 2009. He will be playing in the Florida State League, which is usually tough on hitters, so he will need to put together a good year. If he plays well, he could end the season in New Britain, putting him back on pace for a 2010 promotion. However, 2011 is the safe play, as I think he'll be in Fort Myers for a full slate in 2009.
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