The Texas Rangers future is made up of the prospects currently in the organization. Which prospect continues the rankings at #21?
As we hit the middle of the offseason, we’re looking at the Top 25 prospects in the Texas Rangers organization. These are the players that have performed through the 2018 season and offer the most for the club moving forward.
#21: RHP, Jordan Romano
Jordan Romano continues our Top Prospects rankings coming in at number 21. Romano joined the Rangers organization this offseason as a Rule 5 draft acquisition. Romano was selected out of the Blue Jays system by the Chicago White Sox and then subsequently traded for by the Texas Rangers.
The 6’4″, 200 lb., right-hander was originally a 10th round draft pick of Toronto back in the 2014 MLB draft out of Oral Roberts University. In his shortened 2014 season, Romano pitched in Rookie ball making 13 appearances out of the bullpen and posting a 1.93 ERA. He suffered an elbow injury shortly thereafter and had to undergo Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2015 season.
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In 2016, Romano spent his shortened year with Single-A Lansing where he made 15 appearances 14 of which were starts. He threw 72.2 innings that year posting a 2.11 ERA showcasing an impressive ability to keep runners off base posting a 1.046 WHIP.
Jordan then spent the 2017 season with High-A Dunedin where he saw his first full season of pro baseball. He made 26 starts, 28 total appearances for Dunedin throwing 138 innings in total. Impressively, he racked up a strikeout per inning average and posted a 3.39 ERA.
Last year, Romano spent the majority of the season in Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats making 25 starts for the club. He saw his strikeout rate dip just a bit in his 137.1 innings of work but also saw his hits per 9 innings and walks per 9 innings decrease. His ERA made a small jump to 4.13 but he managed to maintain an impressive 1.187 WHIP. He did make a single start for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate as well throwing 5 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits.
At 25 years old, Romano is heading towards a make or break season in his development. He’s gotten a lot of work as a starter in his time in the minors but isn’t a rotation lock moving forward. He sports a low-90’s fastball that he pairs with an above-average slider but doesn’t quite have the 3rd pitch necessary to make it as a Major League starter.
In 2019 it’s expected that Romano will be considered for a relief role during the course of Spring Training. Being a Rule 5 pick, if the Texas Rangers decide to not keep him in the Majors he has to clear waivers and be offered back to his original club before he can get sent down to the Minors. I’d imagine we’ll see Romano at least to start the year in the bullpen as Texas tries to hold on to a talented young pitcher.