Sunday, June 9, 2013

Deibinson Romero is knocking on the door

Before the season began, Deibinson Romero wasn't cracking into many top prospect lists. As a 26-year old prospect, there had been some tough seasons in the minor leagues. He needed multiple seasons in Beloit, Fort Myers, and New Britain. After 2,600 plate appearances in the minors, Romero had never faced a pitch above the Double-A level.

Things sure have changed so far this season for Mr. Romero.

It took another trip back to the Eastern League for Romero to get back on track and he did so in a big way. He wouldn't be there long as he batted .355/.429/.710 with three home runs and two doubles in eight games. The team called him up to Rochester and he has continued to put together his best professional season.

In 18 games at Rochester, Romero is hitting .308/.394/.583 with four home runs and two doubles. Those numbers are great but he has been heating up in his last ten games. Over that stretch, Romero is hitting .395/.452/.684 with three home runs. This also includes one game on June 3rd where he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI.

On the defensive side of the ball, Romero has continued to improve his play at third base. He has averaged close to 20 errors a season over the last four years. So far this year at the hot corner, he has three errors in 55 chances. If he continues to hit well and play strong defense, it is going to be hard for the front office not to notice him.

One man that has noticed his recent play is Ron Gardenhire. In an interview this weekend, the Twins skipper said, "He's gotten better and better. He's really brought himself back into the picture here. Another option -- and he is an option for me." This is high praise from a manager that has seen a revolving door at third base since the departure of Corey Koskie many years ago.

The Twins coaching staff was excited to get an extended look at Romero during spring training this year. Unfortunately, Romero got tied up in the Dominican Republic due to a visa issue. This cost him a chance to impress the front office and Gardenhire's staff.

There would be some issues with finding a place for Romero. He is currently not on the 40-man roster so the Twins would need to clear a space for him in order to call him up. The Twins have been willing to move people from the 40-man roster this year so this shouldn't be too much of a stumbling block for Romero.

Another obstacle in Romero's way could be the return of a healthy Trevor Plouffe. The last month has been interesting for Plouffe. He was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list after sliding hard into second base to break up a double play. On the day he was removed from concussion DL, he injured his calf in warm-ups and he had to be placed on the 15-day DL.

Plouffe will be heading to Rochester on a rehab assignment at the start of this week. This could mean his return to the line-up in the next handful of days.  Minnesota has struggled since Plouffe went on the disabled list May 22. During that stretch, third basemen have combined to go 7-for-68 (.103) with one extra-base hit.

There will be a lot of talk about Miguel Sano's promotion from High-A to Double-A because he is the future at third base. However, Romero has been a pleasant surprise this season and it would be nice to see him get an opportunity to prove himself on the big league stage.

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