Romero Fighting Off The Junk

Romero is getting better at offspeed pitches

Outfield prospect Wilmer Romero was considered one of the top International signings by the Yankees a year ago, but struggled a bit in his professional debut this past season. An ultra-toolsy player, he says he has been working hard on hitting offspeed pitches and that remains a developmental focal point going forward.

"First thing, thank God everything went well," Wilmer Romero said through the help of a translator. "I worked a lot with the coaches. They really helped me a lot and I think I had a pretty good year down there overall."

With that being a subjective term, while the 18-year old did club five home runs, he hit just .225 with 65 strikeouts in 57 games for DSL Yankees2 this past season.

"I was working on two things; offensively I was trying to hit the offspeed pitch," he added. "And defensively it's been my second year in the outfield so I'm still getting used to it."

While it wasn't a banner statistical season, the fact is he was one of just two players from the Yankees Dominican Academy to be invited to Instructs in Tampa earlier this month.

"I felt happy being selected to come here," he said with a devilish grin. "I saw the work that I put in worked out. There are so many players down there, I'm just glad I was one that was picked. I thank God for the chance."

He says he saw some marked improvements laying off of and even hitting offspeed pitches more consistently as the Dominican Summer League progressed, but, now after getting a chance to see American pitching for a couple of weeks, he also knows that he is about see a different level of those types of pitches once he comes over to the United States full-time.

"I've been working on it a lot, repeating it, now it just comes naturally. Here you have to adjust more. I've learned here [in the States] that 2-2, 3-2, they'll throw you an offspeed pitch in any count. You really have to look for that and adjust to that."

While his long-term success handling offspeed pitches has yet to be determined, Romero is confident that he's made the necessary short-term adjustments in his game to be challenged in the Gulf Coast League next season.

"That's my goal. I'm working hard to not only get here to the rookie level, but to keep advancing.

"I'd like to focus on the hitting part. As a power hitter, sometimes they'll throw you a lot of junk. I have to look for that. I need to hit that and take it into the games. I feel like I'm making some progress."

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