Toronto Blue Jays: Top Five Rookies of 2020
Closer of the future?
1. Jordan Romano
Who would have thought that a player the Blue Jays lost during the 2018 Rule 5 Player Draft would become the teams’ top rookie in 2020? At the end of the 2018 season the Blue Jays left Jordan Romano off their 40-man roster which exposed him for the Rule 5 draft. The Chicago White Sox selected Romano, however, traded him later that day to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations.
Thankfully the Rangers eventually found they had no use for him on their 25-man roster and he was returned to the Blue Jays. Romano had an underwhelming season at AAA for the Blue Jays in 2019 as he posted an ERA at 5.59, however there was enough raw talent there that they gave him a September call-up. Romano struggled with most aspects on the mound except striking out batters when he joined the Blue Jays. He surrendered 14 runs on nine walks and 17 hits including four home runs in just over 15 innings. However, he did record 21 strikeouts and showed a lightning type fastball.
More from Jays Journal
- Blue Jays: Snapping cold streaks at the right time
- Who Should the Blue Jays Extend First: Guerrero, Bichette or Manoah?
- Blue Jays now hold the top Wild Card spot, and yes that’s a good thing
- Blue Jays may have the tools to use a Bullpen Day
- Blue Jays win important first game after Bichette’s late inning heroics
At the start of the 2020 season, Romano was the first pitcher out of the bullpen in Game 1 of the season when Hyun Jin Ryu failed to get through five innings. Romano threw one shutout inning striking out two batters and eventually picked up the win in the game, which was the first of his career. After that appearance Romano continued to show his dominance as he did not allow a hit until his ninth outing of the year while striking out 13 batters over that time.
Romano quickly became one of, if not the most important member of the bullpen and made 15 appearances on the season for 14.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs with a WHIP of 0.89. The Canadian pitcher from Markham, Ontario also led the team averaging 12.9 strikeouts over nine innings, and until a late-season injury he appeared to be taking the closer’s role. Romano was used on August 21 and August 24 in the closer’s role and picked up saves. He was used again on August 28, however blew the save, but it was quickly known he had an injury and would miss the remainder of the 2020 regular season and playoffs.
Romano will be turning 28 at the beginning of the next season and could be in a position to be the closing pitcher on the team and if not that, he will be a very valuable weapon in the bullpen.
Who did I miss, is there someone else who you thought shined more than these five?