Romine ready to prove he belongs in the Majors

2014 may be a make-or-break season for young Yankees catcher
02/18/2014 11:54 AM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Austin Romine is a 25-year-old catcher who made his Yankees debut in 2011. Originally from Lake Forest, California, Romine was a second-round pick for the Yankees in the 2007 amateur draft.

2013 Season: Romine split catching duties in 2013 with Chris Stewart. He hit one home run with 10 RBIs in 60 games, but that hardly tells the story. Before the All-Star break, Romine hit .158. After, however, he hit a respectable .271 and seemed to hit the ball hard every at-bat. He was also consistent defensively throughout.

Greatest Strength: Romine's defense has always been his greatest strength. Baseball America has rated him the best defensive catcher in the Yankees' organization countless times, and he held his own in the big leagues last season.

Greatest Weakness: Nobody is really sure as to whether Romine can hit big league pitching consistently. He worked hard at it in 2013 with Kevin Long and it looked like it was paying off in the second half of the season. If Romine wins the backup job to McCann in 2014, he will need to hit consistently to be viewed as a starting catcher candidate in the big leagues.

Prediction: Romine is still young, and I believe he will start the season in Triple-A. If he tears it up and Cervelli is having an average year, look for the Yankees to call him up a few months into the season. It's a big year for Romine, who still needs to prove that he can play in the Majors, not just to the Yankees, but to other teams who may inquire about his services in the future. 

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