The Rays needed a 40-man roster spot for newly re-signed Logan Morrison, so they traded lefthander Enny Romero to the Nationals for 21-year-old righthander Jeffrey Rosa. Romero has a powerful left arm, but was in danger of being designated for assignment.
Jeffrey Rosa, rhp
Rosa didn't rank among the Top 30 prospects for the Nationals in the Prospect Handbook, but he has a raw power arm for Rays coaches to mold in the lower levels of their system. The Nationals originally signed Rosa for just $10,000 out of the Dominican Republic when he was a 19-year-old with a projectable 6-foot-3 frame, quick arm speed and a fastball that touched the low-90s. A combination of mechanical adjustments and increased strength helped Rosa's velocity quickly increase, allowing him to post a 3.05 ERA and a 69-29 SO/BB mark in 56 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2015. Rosa, 21, pitched as a starter in 2016 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, sitting at 92-94 mph with his fastball and reaching 97. There's a high probability that Rosa ends up in the bullpen, which could enable his fastball to sit more in the mid-to-upper 90s in short bursts. His offspeed pitches (a slurvy breaking ball and an occasional changeup) are below-average, so finding a reliable secondary offering to pair with his fastball and improving his control will be important for Rosa's development.
— Ben Badler
Enny Romero, lhp
Romero has a long arm action and often has trouble finding a consistent arm slot and release point. That inability to find a consistent slot led to the Rays moving him to the bullpen, where his velocity reached 100 mph. He complements the heater with a slider and a cutter, but primarily throws his fastball, which averaged 96.1 mph last season, according to FanGraphs. With his slider and cutter, Romero should be better against lefthanders, but shows reverse splits. Last season, lefthanders hit .288/.385/.439 while righthanders hit .217/.317/.368.
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