Romine Working Through Slump

Romine has a 4-game hit streak

Roberto Clemente once said, "All that counts is tomorrow's game." 21-year-old Trenton Thunder catcher Austin Romine is learning to apply those wise words to his game.

"It's a process. I never really recovered from that slump," Austin Romine said. "But I'm working with Frank and I'm feeling a lot better at the plate. I'm not quite there yet."

Oh, the mystery of the slump. Every player faces them and learns how to play through them and find the answer. The mechanics might have been the problem, but Romine struggled to get his mind out of the way.

"I kind of lost confidence there in the middle of the year. Everyday little things were going wrong," Romine said. "It was the mechanics. I was getting down. I'm really trying to turn that around."

Romine started the season strong, hitting .354 in April, but his average would drop in May and June. He saw a slight improvement in July, but in August he's hit just .216. He needs to get better on the base-paths. Getting more walks is another key. If the numbers don't show all the strides he's making, the quality of his efforts are getting notice.

"He's being more patient and looking for a better pitch to handle," said Thunder manager Tony Franklin. "He's accepting walks, taking his base on balls is a good thing and that indicates to me you're seeing the ball well."

The defensive aspect of his game is where Romine excels, but he's also improved on a skill he entered the season focusing on.

"My game calling. A lot of my starting pitchers and bullpen guys are going up. I think the relationship I built with them was really big," Romine said.

He believes his communication with pitchers contributed to his success behind the dish, as well as the Thunder pitchers.

"We have a lot of pitchers who've done real well. It's a compliment. It means I did my job," he said.

The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make about Romine's future, but they are clearly investing in him. He'll be going to the Arizona Fall League for a second consecutive year. The high competition of the AFL is always a good test for any young player, but it's mainly an excellent way for them to extend their season and development.

"It's just more at-bats, more innings, and better competition," Romine said. "You're playing against some elite athletes."

An added bonus for some fun for Romine will be the opportunity to play against his brother Andrew a shortstop in the Los Angeles Angels organization.

Romine talked about the process and (cliché alert!) knowing is half the battle. He's getting closer to what he hopes for himself, what he believes he's capable of.

"He's starting to trust what he's doing," said Tony Franklin. "When young players are struggling, it's sometimes because they're not trusting what they're doing. He's making a resurgence."

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