Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Enny Romero

One of the more promising prospects on the Durham Bulls is hard throwing right hander Enny Romero.  This is the first full season that Romero has spent in Durham, but as of this afternoon it may not really be a full season.  The Rays called up Romero to make a spot spot this week against the Mariners.  Not entirely clear why Romero is making the start, but the Rays obviously like the upside on the left-hander.  This is actually the second time that Romero has made a spot start for the Rays who also used Romero for a game in September last year against the Orioles. 



Romero went 4 2/3 in his debut giving up 1 hit, and walking 4.  Romero is a very harder thrower with a moving fastball sitting in the mid 90s topping out around 97 to 98.  I have seen Romero several times during the past year with the Bulls and am always really impressed with how lively his arm is and how much movement his pitches have on them.  Just 23 it is pretty clear that the Rays have big plans for Romero in the future.  In my opinion he is probably the best arm I have seen in Durham since David Price pitched for the team in 2008 and 2009.  In fact, if the Rays make the playoffs this year it should surprise no one if the team uses Romero much like they used Price during the team's run to the 2008 World Series.  

Card wise the selection of Enny Romero cards is pretty deep and is also pretty affordable.  It seems that many collectors are sleeping a little bit in terms of value on his cards.  Basically, Romero is a raw Top 100 prospect, but has card prices like he's a fringe prospect.  I have seen every pitcher in the Rays rotation come through Durham and can promise you that the prices on Enny Romero cards are too low.  Let's start with his rookie card.  



Romero's first appearance on a certified piece of cardboard came in the 2011 Bowman set.  As we all know the Bowman sets are always driven by rookie cards.  Bundle a few nice rookie cards together and the set tends to take off.  There are plenty of big names in the set: Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor, Dylan Bundy, etc.  Romero will be one that you will want in your collection sooner than later.  Right now his rookie cards from the 2011 Bowman set are an afterthought and are often $2-$3 shipped.  Low prints and serial numbered cards too.  Bargain bottom prices for a top prospect, but there's more.  Romero also has a few autographs and relics floating around too.  

 
Enny Romero has a relic card in last year's Topps Heritage Minor League set and also has one from a Future's Game appearance in the 2012 Bowman Draft set.  Neither card is particularly splashy, but they can both be found for less than $5 and are extremely easy to find.   The Futures Game relic can be found in patch form, but the patch pieces tend to be small and I have not seen one in a long time.  Dry market for those cards.  


Romero also has two certified autographs from Bowman.  The one above is his 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospects Rookie Autograph.  Not the best signature, but I still love the card.  Romero also suddenly reappeared as a signer for Bowman this year and has an autograph in the 2014 issue.  Both cards are easy finds for less than $5.  Romero also has photos on his Twitter account from a signing he did for Panini America at the end of March.  

 

 I guess we are going to get to see another Romero autograph in this year's Prizm release which comes out next week.  I am probably not going to open any wax from that product, but I will have to keep my eye out for some of Enny's cool looking cardboard from the set.  That shirt is cool too. 



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