Drew Rom has been around in the system for awhile, drafted by the O's back in 2018. His progression through the minors was slow thanks to the lost 2020 season, but he pitched well in the lower levels. His short look of 40.0 innings in Double-A in 2021 was pretty solid, as he posted a 3.83 ERA with 10.6 K/9, but his 2022 season was underwhelming.
Across Double-A and Triple-A in 2022, Rom pitched to a 4.43 ERA with a 1.475 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and 10.8 K/9. While it's encouraging that his strikeout numbers stayed high, he also posted single-season highs in ERA, WHIP, and BB/9. As he was finally progressing through the minor leagues, he took a step back in performance. Still, there are reasons Rom could debut in 2023.
First, he's been in the minors for a while. The Orioles will probably want to get at least a short look at him in the minors, and as he grows used to Triple-A hitting, he may be more ready to face major league hitting. Second, his 2022 season wasn't all bad. He's still an excellent strikeout pitcher who topped out at a 30.3 K% in A-ball back in 2019. That rate hasn't fallen off much since.
Third, he projects well as a backend starter or long reliever in the majors. While he doesn't have an overpowering fastball, sitting in the low 90s, he has good control of his fastball and off-speed stuff. His command has helped him generate strikeouts and groundballs, but it was just this past season that walks became an issue and his ground ball rate fell. There are the elements of a good backend starter here, and if Rom can put it all together in 2023, he should have a shot to fill in for injuries in the rotation at some point in the majors.