Romero, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the club's No.5 prospect, was widely considered a top-10 talent coming into the Draft, but he fell to the Nationals at 25th overall after his stock dropped amid character concerns. Romero was twice suspended by the University of Houston baseball team before being dismissed permanently.
Washington normally avoids players with such concerns, but Romero's big fastball, wipeout breaking ball and changeup made him one of the top left-handers in the Draft, and the club took a chance.
"I don't see an issue with this kid," Nationals scouting director Kris Kline said after the Draft.
When the Nats selected Romero in June, they were in dire need of bullpen help and Romero was considered one of the most Major League-ready pitchers in the Draft. If not for their shrewd moves before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Nationals might have had to fast-track Romero to the Majors. Instead, he appeared in just seven games between short-season Class A and rookie ball, striking out 35 batters in 22 innings.