with a dash of Martin Prado
Q. Was this particular ballgame "intriguing" for Romero?
A. It was, yes. Here's the video clip of his home run off Guillermo Moscoso. It intrigues us about the very things that intrigued us about Stefen Romero. Very intriguing.
Q. What intrigued you about Stefen Romero? Previously?
A. Watching him hit in the minors -- via tapes -- we observed that there are three special things about Romero:
- Very compact into the ball, no apparent "load," yet with authority
- Special wrists and forearm
- Special relaxation
This, of course, echoes a certain past Mariner who has a street named after him. In fact Romero visually reminds me of Edgar more than any other Mariner I've seen since -- except Romero is 6'3" 225, not 5'10" 180. (I spent some time playing LaserTag with Edgar; he's pretty small. Um, I mean he's not real big.)
By "special" we mean that Romero is a lot better at those three things than other major league* hitters are.
Q. Could you say a little more about the wrists and relaxation?
A. Go to the SSI hashtags on it -- Here Y'Go Amig-O -- and we've got an 8-part analysis on the kid's swing.
If you want only one part of it, This Is The Article that you could skim through. Mo' Dawg follows on with golf-swing analysis as it pertains to Romero.
Q. What pitch did Romero hit for the grand slam? Looked like an 85-MPH batting practice pitch, the easy way he turned on it.
A. Picture above.
Moscoso pounded him with two fastballs low and away, right where the catcher had his mitt, and then came back with a 91-MPH righty fastball up and on the inside black, perfect jam pitch. Romero lost it.
What was Moscoso supposed to do? Immerse yourself in the pitcher's world. You just aimed at the hands, hit the hands, and a AA player lost it. You'd even set the jam pitch up, going hard low and away. Four runs on a 91 jam pitch up. What do you tell the manager? That was my best, and it's not good enough?
Q. C'mon, all these kids can't be blue-chippers.
A. When we say "prospect" we refer to the idea that there's some CHANCE that the jackpot will hit triple cherries. With Romero, I wouldn't minimize that chance. The kid is exciting.
First time I have seen Romero -- well proportioned, moves easily, carries himself like an outstanding athlete, could easily be a solid basketball player. The ball just jumped off his bat. How does GMZ find athletes like this in the 12th round? Smoak drilled 2 screaming line drives to right center today - one for a double and the other caught -- batting left handed. M's pitching over-matched KC with Iwakuma looking sharp. Very impressive game.
Jeff, typical article filled with your excellent thoughts. Busy with baseball so you are helping me get my fill of M's from a distance. I am partial about M's pitching prospects but really like Romero. It will be interesting to see where they play him at Tacoma....assuming with an eye on moving further north.
I hope all is well with you!!
He's the one sifting through thousand's of scouting reports and phoning in the picks. Jack might have some input on who gets selected with the #2 pick, but after that it's all on Mcnamara. And he has done an outstanding job of getting quality players in the mid-rounds. The guy who really stands out and makes me wonder what the heck they saw in him is Jack Marder. He was terrible in college, hitting just .209 with no power the year he was drafted. Yet the M's gave him $200,000 and he IMMEDIATELY tore things up in Hi-A ball, hitting .352/.416/.583 so far. I'd love to see what the M's scouts were saying about him compared to those in other orgs.
I'm interested to know if and where to find video of Romero's two strike outs the day before. The reason why is it looks like pitchers are attacking him low and away. It appeared to me that in Romero's grand slam the catcher was looking for a pitch low and away. That the pitch wound up near Romero's hands appears to be a mistake by the pitcher. Romero himself says as much - that he capitalized on a mistake - in an interview I saw on Mariners Insider. But here is what intrigues me. When Romero hits his 3 run homer later in the game the catcher is once again positioned as if he is looking for a pitch low and away. This time it appears the pitcher executes and hits his target (although due to the viewing angle of the video I'm watching, the pitch may not have been as away as the catcher would've liked, but I can't be sure). In any event, Romero crushes it. If pitchers found a weakness of his and are attacking him low and away, and he can make the adjustment within just two games and crush those pitches anyway, I am very intrigued in him. Listening to his interview he seemed very well composed, was able to identify and communicate what he saw from the pitcher, what he was thinking in the at bat, and how he was able to execute. Edgar comps are always a bit lofty, but this guy looks and sounds very much like a major leaguer. I'm definitely excited to see what he does in the minor league this year.
I'll watch for those things -- thanks Kerp --
The low-and-away book is usually just a cliche on the part of the Good Ole Boyz. Going back to Jay Buhner, the knock on him (from Lefebvre) was that "can't handle hard stuff inside and sliders low and away." Like that isn't everybody's toughest combo to deal with. It's like the cliche "just bust him with 95 up and a good 12-6 curve with two strikes."
So the idea of attacking him low-away with fastballs -- which any AA pitcher if not even college pitcher can execute -- my *assumption* is that they're talking out of their ears. But still, your account adds to the backstory here.
Good stuff amigo.
What happened to my historical background response on Romero and Marder?
Sorry Lonnie. Have a request in to try to fish it out of the ether. Don't think I've ever seen that happen before - a post getting published, and then vanishing. Sorry 'bout dat.
Will keep you posted.
Whoops, bad choice of words...
I think it was the Edgar's hammies, but Romero got a strained oblique, swinging low and away(?), in Noesi's debacle yesterday. Let's hope Stefan can learn to stay healthy and in the lineup. And don't send him to purgatory in Calgary.