Jim Clancy, Doyle Alexander, Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, Pat Hentgen, Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay. 

Whether by accomplishment or leadership attributes, when one thinks of the all-time Toronto Blue Jays starters, they usually top anyone’s list. 

With Shaun Marcum being dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers, Ricky Romero is in a position to become one of the elite, the one Toronto will remember for years to come. 

Drafted sixth overall out of Cal State Fullerton, Romero was the Jays’ first-round pick in the 2005 draft and all signs pointed to “an ace in the making.”  Find below Romero’s scouting report courtesy of MLB.com

“Fluid, easy delivery. Has two kinds of FB: a slider-like cutter and a nasty sinker that drops late. Can change speeds on 12-6 CB. Features a sharp slider. Very intense on the mound, keeps hitters off-balance. Potential front-end starter.” 

Sounds pretty accurate to me! 

Romero compiled 81 starts, 16 victories and over 400 innings pitched while honing his craft in the Jays minor league system for five years. Now, after two full MLB seasons, the Jays rewarded Romero with a generous five-year $30 million contract and some added responsibility.   

Presently, Romero is right on schedule to becoming this generation’s Roy Halladay.  And statistically speaking, he has improved in nearly every category since his 2009 rookie campaign.  Unfortunately walks continue to be his Achilles’ heel, just like his predecessor.   

All young pitchers deal with control issues, even Halladay, who had to return to the basics to regain his form to uncover his true ability.   

For Romero to become elite, he needs to perfect his control.  A pitcher can only bonus the opposition for so long before he gets burned.  History has proven that the additional work and the excess wear and tear on the arm has ruined or derailed many promising careers. 

With a new season on the horizon, 2011 is Romero’s time to shine.  There is no doubt in my mind that at 26, this “wily veteran” will continue to evolve into the superstar we all expect and, hopefully sooner than later, lead the Jays back to the top of the mountain.

Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective

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