Can SSG Romero become a ‘left-handed font’?
Can Annie Romero (31) of SSG Landers be a ‘left-handed version of the font’?
Among the foreign pitchers who will play in the 2023 season, Romero was considered the most surprising contract at the time of signing. This is because he was a pitcher with a decent career, recording an average ERA of 3.36 while playing as a starting pitcher in the 2022 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the previous season.
In addition, in 2017, when he was playing in the American major leagues, Romero is a pitcher with a powerful pitch that recorded an amazing speed of 102 miles (164.1 km), which is very rare for a left-hander. He was evaluated as a ‘surprise transfer’ because he was a competitive player with a very high possibility of success due to the nature of the KBO league and had a career at the same time.
SSG also does not hide its anticipation that Romero can become a new foreign ace. An SSG official hinted on the 27th, “The club expects Romero to become a ‘left-handed version of the font’.”
This expectation means a lot. This is because it means that the club expects that Romero will become a successful example like Font, who commanded the KBO league. 먹튀검증
In fact, Font, who was considered Romero’s ‘good model’, played a short role in SSG for only two seasons, but left a considerable impact. Font recorded an average ERA of 3.46 in 25 games in the 2021 season, followed by 8 wins and 5 losses in 28 games last year.
In addition, Font competed for the title holder at the top of the index in each category until his performance fell due to physical problems and poor physical condition at the end of the season. In addition, in the Korean Series in the 2022 season, which he played after recovering his condition, he played an active role as the mound’s first-class contributor to SSG’s combined victory with a reverse pitch of 2 games, 2 wins, 14.2 innings, 4 runs and an average ERA of 2.45.
Then, does Romero have the ability to produce good results like this font? The possibilities are substantial. SSG looked at the points where Romero differentiates itself from fonts as well as similar strengths.
Kim Seong-yong, general manager of SSG Landers, explained, “The difference from Font is that he has a circle changeup,” and “control is not bad.” It is explained that Romero has a strong pitch, excellent control, and a breaking ball, which is the main weapon of the type that falls into the species of circle changeup.
After moving to Chunichi Dragons in Japan in 2019, Romero played an active role as the team’s starting pitcher that year, recording 8-10 with an ERA of 4.26 in 21 games and 116.1 innings. Romero, who later moved to the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2021, started with a good pitching of 7 innings and 1 run in the 2022 home opening game, and continued to play in the starting rotation, playing in 20 games and maintaining a 3-point ERA (ERA 3.36).
In particular, Romero’s changeup’s hit rate last season was only 0.160, which was very powerful. He also recorded a low batting average of 0.213 against right-handed hitters even though he was a left-handed pitcher. In particular, he has also proven his strength against batters through his awl-like control that accurately stabs the corner of the strike zone toward his body.
In terms of hitters’ accuracy, it is a KBO league that is rated lower than NPB. As expected by general manager Kim Seong-yong, Romero’s strength is a positive factor, as he has all the competitiveness of pitch, control, and main weapon changeup.
SSG, along with Romero, recruited left-handed foreign pitcher Kirk McCarty, and compared to the 2022 season, the competitiveness of the left-hander in the starting rotation has increased significantly. If Romero meets the SSG team’s expectation of being a ‘left-handed font’, the gap between fonts is not expected to be large.