According to a report by Yahoo!Sports.com’s Jeff Passan, which was confirmed with the team by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes and others, Seth Romero, the Washington Nationals’ 2017 1st Round pick, has been sent home from Spring Training this morning for, Passan wrote on Twitter, violating a team policy.
Romero’s behavioral issues were well-documented when the Nationals selected the left-hander 25th overall in the first round of last June’s MLB Draft.
Romero, now 21, was suspended twice in a 14-month period and later dismissed from the University of Houston during the 2017 season, with Houston Chronicle columnist Joseph Duarte noting that left-hander was finally dismissed, “after an incident,” in mid-May 2017, and what was described as “... previous conduct detrimental to the team.”
The issues, according to Duarte’s report, included a fight with a teammate as well as, “... a failed drug test, breaking curfew on a road trip, and appearing in uniform in a photograph holding a bong, multiple sources told the Houston Chronicle.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo and Assistant GM and VP of Scouting Kris Kline addressed the concerns about the pitcher’s make-up on the night of the draft last June.
“We felt comfortable in the fact that we knew his history,” Rizzo explained to reporters after the Nationals made the pitcher thought to be a top-10 talent the 25th overall pick.
“Our area scouts and our guys who know him, and we expect him to conduct himself with maturity and be a professional, and be accountable for his actions and to immerse him within our organization,” Rizzo said.
“The stuff is what it is and the ability,” Kline added.
“Look, we’ve all made mistakes in life. I have. It’s not like this kid committed a big crime or anything. There’s kids out there that do it. I think this kid’s learned his lesson and he’s going to go out there and be a very productive big leaguer.”
Romero made seven appearances between the Gulf Coast and New York/Penn Leagues in his first taste of pro action last summer.
Baseball America ranked the left-hander the No. 5 overall in the Nationals’ system on their 2018 list of the organization’s top prospects.
There was no information in Passan’s tweets, or subsequent confirmations, about what it was that led to the lefty being sent home, or the writer noted, how long he’ll be away.
Romero, a hard-throwing left-handed pitcher, was an easy top-10 talent last year who fell to the Nationals with the 25th pick after getting kicked off the University of Houston team. Makeup questions have dogged him, and this incident won't help in that regard.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 6, 2018
Nats confirm 2017 first round pick Seth Romero was sent home for violating club policies.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) March 6, 2018
Is it unclear how long Romero will be gone, he did not violate any MLB policies— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) March 6, 2018