I was sorting through players that I want to target for fantasy baseball this year. When I look for pitching I look at several things, in order: strikeouts, ERA, opposing batting average, and WHIP. Finally I trim the list down to players 29 and under, and their numbers are getting better over the last three seasons. I found a player that I believe will have an amazing season next year (as long as he doesn’t get the Bad Wax jinx) Ricky Romero. All the signs are there, low ERA, high strikeouts, low OPA and WHIP. Plus he has been getting better every season.
With Romero you have to focus on one thing, he plays in the AL east and faces the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox an insane amount of times. Yet his ERA last year was 2.92 and he struck out 178 batters. He is a year maturer, entering year 28 and should be a force on the Blue Jays for a few more years. Nobody outside of Toronto even cares about the guy. I mean he finished 10th in AL Cy Young voting, that’s not bad since he has shown incredible improvement of the past 3 years.
From what I’ve read about interviews with coaches and talent evaluators, he has gotten relaxed since joining the bigs 3 years ago. The great thing for the Jays and bad thing for Romero is that he signed away his peak years in 2010 and the Jays have him locked up for 5 years at 6 million a year. Very good deal if he continues to dominate the way he has so far. He isn’t eligible for free agency until 2016 (his option) and by then he’s going to be 32. As far as his collectability is concerned, I have him as a must buy.
I did a quick scan of eBay and aside from his Bowman 2005 autograph, most can be had for between $3 – $12. Obviously the big buy is his Bowman 2005 autographed card, which has sold for between $30 to as high as $70. Considering he was the 6th overall pick in 2005, that’s not a terrible deal. His cards back then were going for close to $100 a pop. Romero is definitely a late bloomer, but for budget collectors, this is a great time to be snatching up his cards. If he has the season I expect from him (15-9, 3.05 ERA, 205 Ks, 1.16 WHIP) you could easily double your money after just this season.
What do you think of Ricky?