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Another Elite Prospect Making Poor Life Decisions

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University of Houston lefthander Seth Romero, a projected first-round MLB draft pick, has been suspended indefinitely for multiple violations of university and athletic department policy. Photo: UH

The question remains to be answered if the University of Houston left-handed pitcher Seth Romero will still be selected as one of the top pitchers in the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Over the past two seasons he has been suspended from the University of Houston baseball team on two occasions for conduct detrimental to the team. Yesterday (5/10/2017) he was kicked off of the University of Houston baseball team.

Romero has been projected to be the 13th overall pick by the Florida Marlins in a mock draft done by Baseball America. Baseball America has recently ranked him 18th in the most recent rankings of the 2017 draft prospects. He moved down to 18th from 10th earlier this spring because of his earlier suspension. The question is, does he drop off of the draft board completely or will a team take a chance that they can get him on the straight and narrow? Should they take a chance on this player or select someone that is just as talented that uses better judgment in his everyday life choices?

We have seen this happen with Johnny Manziel when he was selected number one by the Cleveland Browns in the National Football League (NFL) draft. Where is he now? Out of football. He went through some turmoil while at Texas A&M and early in his pro career. More recently the selection of Joe Mixon by the Cincinnati Bengals in the most recent NFL draft after the domestic violence charges he went through at the University of Oklahoma after punching a girl in the face and breaking four bones. I could go on and on of stories such as this in all professional leagues. These just happen to be some of the more recent ones.

In Romero’s case his coaches have tried to send him a message that his behavior and attitude need to change by suspending him on two occasions during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. It hasn’t worked. Now he is finished with baseball at the University of Houston. Will the MLB follow suit with the NFL and “give this young man a chance,” or will they continue to send this young man a message to get help and make him earn his way into the league in the future?

If he is drafted, my guess is, it would be in the lower rounds at this point. However, if a team drafts him they will need to be prepared with how they will handle the media hoopla that will surround his selection. A team should think long and hard before selecting this young man in that organization. There are some underlying issues in this young man’s life that HAVE to be addressed before he deserves a chance to play a sport professionally. Being a part of a minor league baseball organization is certainly not a place to work on life skills if you already have issues with behavior detrimental to a team or organization.

By Dr. Bret Simmermacher

Dr. Simmermacher is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at bsimmer@ussa.edu

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