Miami Marlins prospects: Avery Romero off to hot start in Batavia

Avery Romero was a highly touted shortstop prospect heading into the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft. Now, playing for Short-Season Batavia in 2013, Romero has become a line-drive hitting second baseman. - Perfect Game USA

The Miami Marlins' 2012 third-round pick Avery Romero is tearing up the New-York Penn League this season.

After being drafted in the third round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, Avery Romero has had to live up to some pretty high expectations. After all, he was the Marlins' second pick in the draft and they went over-slot to sign him. Not to mention, he passed up the chance to start for the strong University of Florida program to sign with Miami. Viewed as a second baseman or third baseman down the line, the Marlins barely even gave Romero a chance at shortstop before moving him to second. Now, with less emphasis on his defense, Romero has put up great numbers with his bat in a limited amount of time with Short-season Batavia this season.

The 20-year-old Romero is a right-handed hitter with tremendous bat swing and a quick path to the ball. With his impressive, smooth swing, one would probably expect Romero to put up huge numbers in the NY-Penn League this season. However, he's just one year out of high school and you never know what to expect with players so young and inexperienced. It's easy to say that Romero has surpassed all expectations set for him prior to the season in his 28 games so far with Batavia.

In just 114 plate appearances, Romero is hitting .373/.421/.539 with 2 homers and a 184 wRC+. Romero has been without a doubt the top hitter on the Muckdogs roster, which is even more impressive considering he's the third youngest hitter. His .373 batting average is second in the New York-Penn League, trailing only 23-year-old Steven Ramos of the State College Spikes. If there is one minor aspect of his approach he could improve over the rest of the season, I'd like to see him get on-base via the walk a little more. However, it's likely that Romero is just seeing the ball so well that he hasn't felt the need to be patient.

Overall, the future is starting to look brighter and brighter for Batavia's star second baseman. Whether or not he develops enough power or not to play third is still a question, but the other aspects of Romero's game have seen such huge improvements that one could expect the power to come in time. If Avery Romero keeps this up, there's no reason he won't be playing in Greensboro in about a month. Avery Romero is quietly doing what everyone knows he is capable of, and that's to hit like one of the top hitters in the lower minors.

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