- Full name Jordan Robert Romano
- Born 04/21/1993 in Markham, ON, Canada
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Oral Roberts
- Debut 06/12/2019
- Drafted in the 10th round (294th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014 (signed for $25,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Romano went from an Ontario high school to a pair of Oklahoma colleges--first Connors State JC, then Oral Roberts. Romano was a closer at Oral Roberts, then began his Blue Jays career as a reliever after signing for $25,000 in 2014. Romano missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery, and the Blue Jays made the unusual move of bringing him back as a starter. He proved surprisingly durable in 2017, though the injury has held back his timetable which is why he pitched last season as a 24-year-old in the high Class A Florida State League. Romano's tailing fastball sits at 91-94 mph and he can reach back for 96. Romano generates downhill plane but isn't a groundball pitcher, as he does a good job instead of getting swing-and-misses up in the zone. His go-to pitch is his slider, an above-average pitch that helped him strike out a batter per inning last year and makes him tough on righties, who batted .197./274/.260 with 81 strikeouts and 19 walks in 326 plate appearances against him in 2017. Better fastball command and improving his changeup will be key for Romano if he's going to stick as a starter, especially after lefties hit .352/.433/.452 in 268 plate appearances off him last season. Romano will continue to develop as a starter, but he could ultimately fit best as a reliever whose fastball should tick up in short stints. Double-A New Hampshire is next for Romano.
The Blue Jays always are on the lookout for Canadian talent such as Romano, an Ontario prep product who went to two Oklahoma colleges--Connors State JC and then Oral Roberts. He closed there in 2014 and likely will return to a relief role eventually due to a violent delivery, but it works for him in short bursts. The most encouraging sign for Romano in 2016 was his return to form from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2015. The Jays, who signed him for $25,000 as a money-saver in the 10th round, built him up slowly in extended spring training and put him in low Class A Lansing's rotation to improve his stamina and get him needed innings. Romano thrived despite his inexperience, throwing plenty of strikes with a fastball that sits 92-93 but can ramp up to 95-96 mph with armside life. Romano has proved adept at pitching up and down with his heater, elevating for strikeouts but using his size to pitch downhill and get groundballs early in the count. His slider is his best secondary pitch and flashes plus with power. His changeup doesn't stand out. If Romero returns to the bullpen, as is likely, he could move quickly in 2017 with his fastball-slider combination.