Ricky Romero Is Falling Too Far in Fantasy Baseball Drafts

George FitopoulosContributor IMarch 12, 2011

LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01:  Ricky Romero #24 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2011 in Lakeland, Florida. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 6-2.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

I don't usually get angry about player's ADP, but allow me to get something off my chest: Ricky Romero is going way too late in drafts.

Currently, Romero is being taken 193rd on average, 51st among starting pitchers, according to ESPN's ADP reports. Some pitchers going before Romero are Jeremy Hellickson (159), Brandon Morrow (164), Ricky Nolasco (168), Madison Bumgarner (178) and Edison Volquez (185).

Rather than bad mouth some of the pitchers going ahead of Romero (because I like most of them), I will give you four reasons why Romero should be going at least three rounds earlier.

Reason #1 — Strikeouts

In just his sophomore season, Romero eclipsed 170 strikeouts in just 210 innings. He increased his strikeout rate from 7.13 to 7.46 strikeouts per nine, and will be relied on to pitch deeper into games now that he is the ace of the staff. It's safe to predict that 180 strikeouts is in his future.

Reason #2 — Ground ball rate

This is one of the main reasons why I love Romero. He induces ground balls 55.2% of the time, which helps keep his opponents' batting average low (career .258) and limit his home runs allowed (career 0.77 HR/9). I don't know about you, but if a pitcher is going to face the Yankees and Red Sox offenses on a regular basis, he better be a ground-ball pitcher, and Romero is one of the best. He has been working on adding a sinker to his arsenal, which only strengthens the argument.

Reason #3 — Improved walk rate, consistency

Last year, Romero improved his walks per nine from 3.99 to 3.51, which is still too high for my liking, but his high ground-ball rate should help keep a lot of those runners from crossing home plate. Romero also showed a lot more consistency in 2010 as he posted 1.32 and 1.25 WHIPs in the first and second half, respectively. This was not the case in 2009 as he posted 1.26 and 1.77 WHIPs showing some growing pains in his first full season as a starter.

Reason #4 — Gotta have faith

Now in his third full season, it's clear that the Blue Jays are ready to roll with Romero as their ace. If they were willing to trade away Roy Halladay and Shaun Marcum last year, you have to think that they have faith in him to get even better and carry the staff. Time will tell if Alex Anthopoulos was right, but he's been doing a great job so far as the GM in Toronto.

In conclusion, Romero has all the tools to become a solid No. 3 starter in standard leagues, but is currently going as a low-end No. 4/high-end No. 5 starter in early drafts. It's safe to say that if you can wait that long to get him you are getting a real bargain because he should be going in the 14th-15th rounds.

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