24-year old Jamie Romak is the latest player to sign a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals. Prior to reading the news of his signing I had absolutely no idea who he was.
Jamie Romak was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th round of the 2003 draft. On January 17th, 2007, he was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Adam LaRoche in exchange for Mike Gonzalez and Brent Lillibridge. Playing primarily OF and 1B, he has spent 7 seasons in the minors and has a career line of 0.235/.337/.439 with 81 HR, 9 SB, 241 BB, and 557 SO in 1,825 AB.
His lackluster career numbers have taken a beating in 97 games in Double-A. He has played 97 games at that level, 33 in 2008 and 64 in 2009, while hitting 0.187/.268/.350 in 331 AB. His best season came as a member of the Danville Braves in Rookie ball when he was 19 and repeating the level. That season he hit 0.274/.368/.540 in 124 AB and has since shown occasional flashes of power.
Heading into the 2009 season he was ranked as the Pirates 11th best prospect by Baseball America. In their prospect handbook they had this to say about him:
He’s a three-true-outcomes player, as he hits his fair share of home runs, draws lots of walks and strikes out a ton. His power and patience stand out in a system that lacks hitters with those skills, though he has a tendency to be too passive at the plate, taking hittable pitches.
His BA profile goes on to rank him as a below average runner and below average defensive player. Power is clearly his calling card but his 2009 performance has to be a cause for concern in that department.
2006: 26 2B and 16 HR in 348 AB
2007: 25 2B and 20 HR in 313 AB
2008: 31 2B and 25 HR in 410 AB
2009: 21 2B and 8 HR in 371 AB despite splitting time between High-A and Double-A just like he did in 2008.
That plate discipline that Baseball America references? That’s been vanishing since he left the Braves system after the 2006 season. In 2009 he struck out 110 times while drawing only 32 walks.
This signing makes no sense to me. He hasn’t just struggled with Double-A. The level is eating him alive. Kind of like how the position of major league general manager is eating Dayton Moore alive.
Ownership needs to immediately issue a directive to Dayton that he is no longer allowed to acquire any player who spent time in the Atlanta Braves system while he was employed over there. Unless, of course, that player is named Brandon Jones.
Seriously, this is getting ridiculous.