With the signing of switch-hitting catcher Drew Romo, the Rockies have officially signed all of their 2020 draftees plus two undrafted free agents (so far).
According to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline, Romo signed for his full slot value of $2,095,800.
Supplemental 1st-rder Drew Romo signs with @Rockies for $2,095,800 (full slot 35 value). Texas HS C, best defensive C in @MLBDraft, switch-hitter could develop average power. Louisiana State recruit. #WearAMask— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 1, 2020
By signing with the Rockies, the Woodlands HS (TX) catcher will opt out of his commitment to play Louisiana State University.
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound switch-hitter batted .232 with 11 runs scored, 11 RBI, and six extra-base hits. In 2019, he batted .397 with 17 doubles, four homers, and 35 RBI and was named to the Texas Baseball Coaches Association Class 6A All-State Team. He also was the starting catcher for the United States’ 18-and-under national team in 2018 and 2019.
Romo decided to switch from middle infield to catcher at age 12, and that switch seems to have paid off so far. He was regarded as the best defensive catcher in the draft, and was thus drafted 35th overall by the Rockies — the highest the team has ever drafted a catcher.
“Catching’s a grind,” Romo told reporters on June 11. “I love the hard work that comes with it. If you go to showcases as you’re going up, there are 50 shortstops, 50 outfielders, and then, like seven or eight catchers. For me, it was really easy to stand out, and it made a lot of sense for me. I just loved doing it.”
In Romo, the Rockies are impressed with his defense and his leadership ability. Bill Schmidt noted that his, “defensive skills, at this point, are ahead of his offense. [He’s] very polished for a high school kid.”
Schmidt added that his presence on the field is more of a “field general-type guy” as described by his teammates and coaches.
Jeff Bridich mentioned that, “the pitchers raved about him — his attention to detail and the confidence they had on the mound when throwing to him.”
The Rockies have now signed all of their 2020 draftees. So far none of them have been named to the 60-man Club Player Pool, as has happened in a few organizations, but maybe Romo will be added to the catching group to get a jump start on his development.