FULL DRAFT WRITE-UP ON DREW ROMO
By Mason McRae
|SCHOOL||The Woodlands HS (TX)|
18U WC x4
Elite Switch-Hitting catch & throw prospect that checks every box and has a very natural swing.
Being a switch-hitter, Drew is much more valuable than the vanilla catch & throw prospect. He has a very athletic base with great leg torque, and hands that stay through the zone and always find a way to square up a ball. He doesn’t have much warning-track power, given for USA the past two seasons he only had 1 HR in 16 international games. In those 16 games, he had a near .500 SLG% and was exceptional at driving balls deep into gaps. The best part of his swing is the extension he gets from his wrists – if he can get more rhythm with his hand load pre-pitch he could make some serious damage. Drew’s been more successful from the left side in the games I saw, but his swing is much more fluid from the right side where his legs seem to explode much more. That being said he’s still a plus-hitter from both sides and has the hitting ability to move to 1B and be a platoon option once his time clock at catcher runs out.
When you talk about Drew Romo, more times than not you’re talking about his wicked ability to get the ball in and out of his glove in a heartbeat, to be specific, 1.80 to 1.92 seconds. There’s not much more to say about his defensive abilities, he could catch in the MLB today if he wanted to, and I wouldn’t put it past him.
Currently Romo is my no. 6 player in the class. That’s a relatively higher spot than the consensus in the scouting industry where he seems to find a common ground in the late-teens to mid-20s. He’s without a doubt is the best prep catcher in the class, but is ranked behind Soderstrom by most scouts and myself included, that’s until he wow’d me at Perfect Game Showcase and skyrocketed from the low-100s into a top-15 spot. He is one of three players with a 70 or higher grade on defense, and the lone catcher. Prep catchers are so tightly scouted given the hard task of projecting how their mind & body will deal with all the nuances of getting beat up behind the plate. Even with all of that – I’m still confident that Romo’s floor is a bottom-of-the-order catcher with elite defensive traits and his ceiling is similar to J.T Realmuto where he could be a middle-of-the-order thumper with the ability to put 12-18 balls into the bleachers and get on 35-38% of the time.
Comp’s are always a crapshoot, but Gregg Zaun reminds me most of Romo. He wasn’t a prolific defender and that’s the one thing i’d say differs from them talent wise. Zaun typically slashed .260/.350/.360 which is what I could picture Drew achieving. Gregg was also a huge addition in the clubhouse as a guidance, like Romo – who was one of the leaders for USA’s 18U program. I’ve heard first-hand how good of a person and worker Drew has been, and that’s a given for anyone talented enough to play two seasons for the US’s most elite team of high schoolers.
In my latest mock draft (link:https://futurebluejays.com) I had Romo going 7th overall to the Pirates. While I don’t necessarily believe he’ll go that high because of the prep catcher risk, that means there’s a somewhat (still very slim) chance he falls into the second round and gets a massive overslot deal. But more than likely he’ll end up going anywhere from pick 16 (Cubs) to pick 30 (Astros). If I were to project where he lands based on the general scouting consensus, it would be 21st to the Cardinals, or 23rd to the Indians for 500k over the slot.