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?

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4 responses »

  1. Dennis says:

    I’m 1000% biased but I’m a big fan of Romero’s. J.P. Ricciardi got an awful lot of flack for drafting Romero – word is he over-ruled many of the scouts in the draft room who wanted to takeTulowitzki. Making matters worse for Ricciardi was that for the longest time (well, a few years) he was deemed a flop…he was toiling in the minors, unable to put it together until the end of spring training in 2009, when then pitching coach Brad Arnsberg requested that Romero be kept at the Big League camp so that he could work more extensively with him. Whatever Arnsberg did with Romero worked. His next few spring outings were successes & he broke camp with the Jays.

    Maybe the best thing about Ricky is his make-up. He seems to keep a positive frame of mind, a bull-dog on the mound & is by all accounts a grounded, familty 1st kind of person.

    If you’re inclined, here’s a recent feature / video w/ Ricky at his home in L.A.

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/video/36651949001/40415880001/-home-with-Romero/page/2

  2. Mike D says:

    I can vouch for the services of Romero. I won a championship with Romero on my fantasy staff (your league, and I had Verlander and Lee, hahaha)…
    But I also had Romero on two other teams I was overseeing last year and he is a great roto guy. Toronto seems like they always have two or three guys that would be megastars if they played in big markets (how ridiculous would Jose Bautista be if he played in Boston?)…I could see Toronto finishing above .500 but still be 10 back of NY and BOS.

  3. Dave says:

    For fantasy learn babip. Its a great help in picking up and dropping pitchers.

  4. deal3 says:

    I agree – Romero underrated/somewhat Unknown because he plays in Toronto. If he stays healthy could be star for years to come.

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