Romero Takes Off For Mariners
SEATTLE—The Mariners thought they might have something good when they
drafted Stefen Romero
out of Oregon State in 2011, but they would have
had difficulty believing he would be putting up numbers this good this
Romero started the 2012 season at high Class A High Desert and tore up
the California League by hitting .357/.391/.581 with 11 home runs and 51
RBIs in 60 games. The numbers were more than enough for a midseason
promotion to Double-A Jackson.
Everybody knows that High Desert is a haven for hitting, and plenty of
players have put up big numbers there and flattened out after being
elevated. Romero wasn't one of those. He was every bit as dominant in
Jackson, hitting .347/.392/.620 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs in 56 games
in helping the Generals to the Southern League playoffs.
"It was a great lineup to hit in," Romero said of his time in Jackson.
But he had some inspiration, too. Seattle legend Edgar Martinez spent
time with Romero during a minor league visit, and Romero, who grew up as
a Martinez fan, was hooked.
"He told me he he'd come into camp every year expecting to hit .350,"
said Romero, who turned 24 on Oct. 17. "When he might finish 'only'
hitting .350, he'd feel like he hadn't had as good a season as he should
"That taught me about the importance of setting my goals high."
So while the righthanded-hitting second baseman finished with the
third-highest average (.352) among full-season minor leaguers together
with 23 homers 101 RBIs and was named Seattle's minor league player of
the year, he looks not just at what he did in 2012, but what he didn't
do. He would have liked to have made the jump to Triple-A. He didn't, so
that goal has shifted to 2013.
"That was the ultimate goal," he said of pushing to Triple-A Tacoma.
"But I'm happy with my year. I was in a couple of situations where I was
batting with lots of RBI chances thanks to the guys batting around me
being on base all the time."
Along the way, Romero developed a huge fanbase in the Seattle front office.
"Stefan had an outstanding offensive season combined between High Desert
and Jackson," Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "He not
only led the organization in many offensive categories, but was one of
the top players in all of the minor leagues."
• Righthander Carter Capps
, who started the season at Jackson and
finished pitching in the seventh and eighth inning in Seattle, was named
the organization's minor league pitcher of the year.
• Shortstop Brad Miller
, who split the year between High Desert and
Jackson and hit a combined .334/.410/.512, was the organization's heart
and soul award winner for his exemplary play and leadership.