The defending ALPB Champion, Long Island Ducks, are getting their 2020 started by reuniting with an old friend and the 2019 Championship Series MVP, Deibinson Romero.
Romero, going into his age 33 season, will spend most of his time at third base for the Ducks in 2020 after being brought by the Ducks last season in a late-June trade from New Britain. Through July, Romero was hitting below his usual averages (posting .255/.340/.356). Despite the slow start, Deibinson was named to his 2nd consecutive ALPB All-Star roster. Romero would eventually find his footing during August, finishing the month with a .322/.354/.533 line in 23 games. Wrapping up the regular season with a flourish, Romero hit 10 of his 14 home runs during August and September. As it turned out, this was just a preview of what was to come in the playoffs.
The Ducks’ third baseman started the playoffs with a key 2-run home run in game 1 of the first round. But it was in the Championship Series that Romero made his biggest impact. Deibinson left the series with a championship, 9 RBI, 2 home runs, a .444/.455/.833 slash line, and a Championship Series MVP. The series left no doubt; trading mid-season for Romero was a critical decision leading to a 2019 title.
But what can Long Island expect from Romero’s 2nd season in their uniform? Projections should usually be conservative for a 33-year-old third baseman. However, Romero’s 2nd-half charge seems to indicate he has plenty left in the tank. It isn’t quite realistic (or fair to Romero) to expect a continuation of his August/September 2019 for a full season in 2020. But it does seem Romero figured something out, or at least found a comfort zone when he got settled in with Long Island. With that in mind, projecting him to out-perform his first half of 2019 wouldn’t be considered overly optimistic.
Deibinson Romero seems set to supply his usual numbers in 2020. A slash of .265/.340/.425 would be a welcome sight to the Ducks who could benefit from an infielder with some pop in the middle of their lineup. Romero hasn’t seen time in an MLB farm system since his .132/.242/.226 start to 2016 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Unless Romero drops a monstrous first-half of the season, it’s unlikely he will have his contract purchased by another team. After a year where the Ducks persevered through 15 player contract purchases, a full season with a veteran infielder at the hot-corner could yield even more value than Romero’s end-of-year stats may indicate.