28-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The 28-year-old began the season with the hopes of landing a spot on Seattle's Opening Day roster by working out at first base, but knee and back issues kept him out of the majors until May. While he ...
Stefen Romero Contract Information:
Romero signed a one-year, $850,000 contract with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
The Mariners granted Romero his release Friday to allow him to pursue an opportunity to play in Japan.
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Stefen Romero: MLB Games Played By Position
Stefen Romero: Minor League Games Played By Position
Stefen Romero Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Stefen Romero Defensive Stats
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Stefen Romero: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
After playing 72 games for the Mariners in 2014, Romero played just 13 last year, spending all season at Triple-A Tacoma before a September callup. Contact and strikeout problems sabotaged Romero in recent years, both in the minors and in Seattle. But in 516 Triple-A plate appearances last season, he made some strides in those departments, improving his contact rate to 82 percent and cutting his strikeout rate to 16.5 percent. He still doesn't walk much, though his 5.9 percent walk rate was his highest since 2013. Romero has good power, totaling 58 extra-base hits, including 17 homers, for a .202 ISO, and he stole 10 bags. But getting an opportunity this season to prove he can do that in Seattle will be tough. A rebuilt outfield under a new regime leaves at most one open outfield spot heading into spring training, and that's assuming Nelson Cruz is the primary DH. Romero looks ticketed for Tacoma once again.
Romero made the roster out of spring training last year and then found himself in the starting lineup in early April after Michael Saunders was injured. Romero showed good right-handed power in the minors, which the Mariners needed last season, but his struggles with contact and strikeouts at Triple-A Tacoma the past couple years came back to haunt him in Seattle. The Mariners demoted him at June's end and he bounced between Seattle and Tacoma in the second half. Romero drew a mere four walks in 190 plate appearances, striking out a quarter of the time and watching his contact rate fall to 73 percent. Unless something changes with his plate discipline, he likely will be nothing more than a fifth outfielder. And he'll have to win that job again in spring training.
The Mariners' 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, Romero was knocked off stride early last season with an oblique injury. At Triple-A Tacoma last year, he continued to show good power, as he had done the previous two years at High-A and Double-A, but his contact rate took a nosedive thanks to an increased propensity to whiff. One of the organization's top prospects, Romero has played at second base and third base, but last season spent almost all of his time in left field. He definitely has pop, though his bat likely needs more fine-tuning at Triple-A. The Mariners have some holes to fill in the outfield, but it would surprise if Romero was the answer at this point.
A 12th-round selection out of Oregon State in 2010, Romero was the organization's minor league player of the year last season. He earned promotion to Double-A Jackson after crushing the ball at High-A High Desert. He combined to hit .352 between the two stops with 64 extra-base hits, including 34 doubles and 23 home runs in 116 games. A second baseman, he can also play third base and outfield. Romero was ranked the No. 8 prospect in the organization by Baseball America. He doesn't have a shot at the making the roster this season, but he doesn't appear too far away.