2012 MLB Draft Q & A: Avery Romero

Pedro Menendez H.S. (FL) infielder Avery Romero is next up in our exclusive 2012 MLB Draft Q & A series. Frankie Piliere ranks Romero as the #71 draft prospect and some teams are reportedly interested in converting him to a catcher. Inside Romero discusses hitting, his workout routine, his commitment to Florida, how he feels about being a backstop and much, much more.

For scouting video of Romero, see: 2012 MLB Draft Scouting Video: Avery Romero

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Rays Digest: Tell me a little bit about yourself as a player? What are your strengths and weaknesses on the diamond?

Avery Romero: My strength definitely is my hitting. It's always what I've enjoyed doing. My favorite part of the game is getting up to go swing it. My weaknesses would definitely be my speed. I think it's something that I can work on in the next few years.

Rays Digest: You have tremendous bat speed and are considered one of the best prep hitters in the draft. Can you tell me a little bit about your approach at the plate?

Avery Romero: I see myself as a gap-to-gap guy. More doubles than homerun for power. I like hitting for a high average.

Rays Digest: I've read that some teams are interested in you as a catcher as well. You've performed well there in workouts. How do you feel behind the plate? Could you see yourself playing there permanently?

Avery Romero: It's definitely something that a lot of people have been talking about. I haven't really gotten a chance to get back there and work. I never really got to do it. We were looking at it for something later down the road if this isn't working out, if that isn't working out. It's always an option that I hopefully can play at the next level.

Rays Digest: So you'd say that shortstop is your primary concern for now?

Avery Romero: Yeah, I like shortstop and I like second base, in the middle infield.

Rays Digest: Tell me a little bit about your workout routine, in season and during the off-season as well.

Avery Romero: I love being a repetition guy. I like doing things a lot until I know I have it down to the way I like it, usually just taking a couple of buckets of ground balls, going to the cage hitting for a while.

Rays Digest: Do you lift and work out with a trainer as well?

Avery Romero: My mom, she went to a big physical college, and she got a degree in it. Mostly she's helped me with core stuff, not lifting anything too heavy, just work on quick twitch muscles and trying to get my speed up.

Rays Digest: You committed pretty early to Florida a few years ago, how much has your thought process changed about attending school at Gainesville now that you are projected to be a high draft pick?

Avery Romero: Ever since I came to Florida, the University of Florida has been my number one choice. The coaches down there are phenomenal. The program speaks for itself. I'm really excited to get there and play, unless something happens where it works out that I get this or that. Either way I'm going to be happy with my decision.

Rays Digest: Other than the coaches, is there anything particular that made UF stand out above other schools?

Avery Romero: Just the program, everything you hear about it is positive. A couple of guys that I played with in the summer are going there. They all seem pretty excited about it, so overall, even though I committed pretty early, I think it was a really good decision.

Rays Digest: If an organization decides to draft you, what are you and your family looking for in order for them to get you to sign and possibly skip college?

Avery Romero: We really haven't had the conversation yet where we came up with a number or anything. We really haven't had time to talk to our advisors to see exactly where we're going to go, so I really couldn't tell you.

Rays Digest: Who has been the biggest influences on you as a player growing up? Who helped you the most to get you where you are today?

Avery Romero: Definitely my parents. My mom throws BP, my dad throws BP. They definitely put a lot of time into it, and then my brother for sure. He's always out there working with me.

Rays Digest: How old is your brother and does he play as well?

Avery Romero: He is 20 and he plays at Embry-Riddle in Daytona.

Rays Digest: Do you have a favorite MLB team, and any particular players that you admire?

Avery Romero: I really don't have a particular team, I kind of like watching players. When I was younger my favorite player to watch hit, just the hitting aspect, was Manny Ramirez, because I loved the high we'd hit with two strikes. Now, I like watching Evan Longoria, it's like every time I watch him hit he strokes it.



Marc Nemcik is the MLB Draft correspondent for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @marcnemcik

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