The University of Houston dismissed pitcher Seth Romero, who many view as a potential first-round pick in this year’s MLB draft, from the school’s baseball program.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Wednesday’s decision comes less than 24 hours after Romero was reportedly involved in a fight with a teammate before the team departed the campus to take on Rice.
Houston coach Todd Whitting released a statement on Wednesday explaining the team’s decision, stating it was the culmination of several incidents that occurred during Romero’s time with the team.
Statement on Seth Romero pic.twitter.com/FIsAqQKYS6
— Houston Baseball ⚾️ (@UHCougarBB) May 10, 2017
The statement reads:
Due to an event Tuesday, along with previous conduct detrimental to the team, Seth Romero has been removed from the Houston Baseball program. I appreciated Hunter Yurachek’s supports of my decision for our program to move forward without Seth. We wish Seth and his family the best of luck as he embarks on the next phase of his life and baseball career. We are fully focused on our remaining schedule and the current members of our program.
The school had given Romero multiple chances to come back and contribute to the team while helping to raise his own stock. Unfortunately, he was unable to turn the corner under their watch.
Romero had just been reinstated from a month-long suspension for a violation of university and athletic department policy on May 1. That was Romero’s second extended suspension in the last 14 months, which the newspaper’s sources say stemmed from violations including a failed drug test, breaking curfew on a road trip and appearing in uniform in a photograph holding a bong.
As a result of those incidents, the Chronicle reports MLB scouts were already changing their outlook on Romero. Many noted that concerns about his off-field behavior could knock him completely out of the first round. Wednesday’s news should cement that, meaning Romero is at risk of costing himself a potential $1M signing bonus.
Prior to the season, Romero was clearly viewed as Houston’s top pitcher. Scouts saw the potential for him to move into the top ten in this June’s draft with a strong season, which would have guaranteed good money and an opportunity. Now he’ll have to work very hard to earn trust with scouts and MLB executives just to prove he deserves the opportunity.
Romero’s talent is undeniable. But hopefully Wednesday serves as a lesson that his talent can only take him so far, and that his conduct will now be what determines his future.
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