|JoJo Romero, image- Jay Floyd|
The five-foot-11 200-pounder was the Phils’ 4th round draft selection in 2016. That year he helped Yavapai College, the same school that the Phillies drafted Kenny Giles from in 2011, clinch the JuCo World Series, leading the way with an 11-5 record, a 3.64 ERA and a 10.2 K/9 mark. He also tossed a complete game gem to earn the win in their title game.
After signing with the Phillies, Romero made his professional debut as a member of the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. There, he notched a 2-2 record with a 2.56 ERA while striking out 31 and walking 11 in 45 2/3 innings.
In 2017, he got off to a terrific start with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. In 13 starts, Romero tallied a 5-1 record with a 2.11 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 mark and was honored as a South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star.
Romero, who hails from the same hometown as former Phils hurler Justin De Fratus, Oxnard, CA, was promoted to Class A Advanced Clearwater in late June. In 10 starts for the Threshers, Romero posted a 5-2 record with a 2.24 ERA and an 8.4 K/9 mark.
Overall for his 2017 campaign, Romero led all Phillies full-season minor leaguers in ERA with a 2.16 mark (minimum 100 innings).
Last year, Romero posted a 7-6 record with a 3.80 ERA, a .241 BAA and an 8.4 K/9 mark through 18 Double-A starts for Reading. He really bounced back following a troublesome start for the Fightins Phils. After an April that saw him Romero go 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA and a .305 BAA, the talented youngster posted a 7-3 record with a 3.01 ERA and a .225 BAA the rest of the way until an oblique injury ended his season in July.
With an electric arm, the 22-year-old features a good mix of offerings including a fastball that sits in the 94-95 MPH range and features sink, a curve ball, a slider and a very good change-up.
Romero tends to draw a lot of ground ball outs. Also, he seems to steadily have a good plan and is confident on the mound, throwing each of his pitches in any count. Opponents have mustered just a .235 batting average against while facing Romero thus far in his pro career.
A ball of energy in the locker room, Romero is a guy that teammates enjoy being around and can help the club by being a motivator of those around him, even when he’s not in the game.
The Phillies plan to have Romero stick as a starter, with a potential ceiling possibly as a mid-rotation guy. Look for him to open the 2019 campaign in Triple-A with Lehigh Valley.
Track this year's complete Phillies top prospects countdown by clicking this link.