Team Italy pitcher Jordan Romano was a Toronto Blue Jays top 30 prospect prior to the Rule 5 Draft on December 13, 2018. Left unprotected by not being added to the Jays 40-man roster last month, the hard-throwing 25-year-old right-handed hurler was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the third round and then traded him to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations.Team Italy supporters recall when Jordan Romano pitched a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts to pick up the win against home team Mexico in front of a sold-out Estadio Charros de Jalisco in the World Baseball Classic on March 9, 2017. He had a successful 2017 campaign at Single-A Advanced Dunedin (26 starts, 7-5 record, 3.39 ERA) and averaged nine strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He was named 2017 MiLB.com Organizational All-Star (Toronto Blue Jays).
2018 proved to be another monumental year for Jordan Romano as he was selected as Canadian Baseball Network minor league pitcher of the year. In addition, he was voted Eastern League pitcher of the year as well as named Eastern League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. After making 25 starts at Double-A New Hampshire and going 11-8 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, Jordan Romano was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo and won his only start to finish the 2018 season. He made quite an impression averaging 8.2 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings pitched. Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said, "He has started, but we're going to give him an opportunity to win a bullpen spot. He is certainly capable of being stretched out and giving multiple innings. We have seen him in shorter stints, and his stuff has played up."
Jordan Romano now must make the Texas Rangers' 25-man roster out of 2019 Spring Training and be active for at least 90 days of the season. Should the proud Italian Canadian not make the big league roster, he has to clear waivers and be sent back to the Toronto Blue Jays organization for half of his $100,000 Draft price. However, Rangers GM Jon Daniels believes Jordan Romano will find success in the Texas bullpen. "He has the profile of a type of guy who has transitioned from starter to the bullpen and stepped up." said Daniels. "Just like a lot of guys, you shorten guys up and their stuff plays up. They end up having more success. That's how we're going to look at him...as a reliever." Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti