Detroit Tigers: Predicting Andrew Romine Will Be an All-Star in 2017
The Detroit Tigers jack-of-all-trades Andrew Romine is off to a phenomenal start.
So far, in his eight at-bats with the Detroit Tigers, Romine is batting .500 with an OPS of 1.375.
While there is no way he will maintain a .500 batting average as the season progresses, he doesn’t appear to be having an unusual streak.
He finished spring training with a .300 batting average in 70 at-bats with two home runs, five doubles, and a triple. This was his best spring training by far, even though he did have a .306 batting average in 2016, but that was with half the number of at-bats.
Romine did some work on his swing in the off-season and the work appears to be paying off in spades. He’s putting the ball in play with consistency. With his speed on the base paths, he is an easy RBI to score. One thing that stands out from spring training was that in all of his at-bats he never grounded into any double plays, despite having 12 opportunities to do so.
So far, Romine has only played in two games, but his spring training performance has already carried over into the regular season. In both games against the Boston Red Sox, Romine has had more than one hit in each game. Today, against Chris Sale, he hit two doubles. Yesterday, against Rick Porcello, he also had two hits, with one being a double. His multi-hit games were off of the 2016 Cy Young winner and one of the best left-handed pitchers on the planet.
Romine’s added punch at the plate is due to plenty of video work comparing his swing to power hitters’ swings. According to Chris McCosky with The Detroit News, Romine said about his swing:
"“I tried to figure out where my swing differed from somebody’s that I liked, someone who was doing it right. So I put my video next to theirs, side by side, just to try and pick out where mine started to change versus theirs.”"
The power hitters included teammates Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez as well as proven hitters like Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox. Romine also reported that he worked on keeping the bat in the zone and swinging through the ball.
But, Romine is not just a threat at the plate. He is a super utility player who can step into any role at a moment’s notice. While he will spend most of his time in center field as a platoon partner with JaCoby Jones, Romine did get to play left field for Justin Upton. Romine rarely makes any errors.
In the same article from McCosky, Brad Ausmus said about Romine:
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"“But guys like Romine can be the difference between a winning team and a non-winning team, a losing team.”"
While some utility players like Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez are notable at playing two or three spots, it is not every day that a super utility player makes an All-Star Team. Men like Danny Santana, Martin Prado, and Brock Holt play the full range of positions, like Romine. Holt did make the All-Star Team in 2015 and that year he played every spot but pitcher and catcher. Prado made the All-Star Team in 2010, but that year he only played middle infield and first base.
Next: Miguel Cabrera Gets His First Two Hits of the Season
The Detroit Tigers were brutally underrepresented in the All-Star Game in 2016. This will change in 2017 as Andrew Romine makes his debut in the All-Star Game as an amazing super-utility player who will hit close to .300 with power. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it.