Nationals send 2017 first-round pick home for violating team rules

Left-handed pitcher Seth Romero had a few off-field issues while he was playing for the University of Houston that eventually led to his dismissal from the team. The Nationals still decided to draft him in the first round (25th overall) last season, though, and they are already having problems with him, apparently. 

Nationals beat writers are reporting that the club has confirmed Romero's violation and that he has been sent home for a period of time, though there's no timetable thus far. 

Romero is a hulking 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds. He struck out 35 hitters in just 22 innings between Rookie Ball and Low Class A last season. Heading into this spring, Baseball Prospectus pegged Romero as the number 76 prospect in baseball. 

It continues to appear, though, that he just can't stay out of his own way. While at Houston, Romero was shown in a photograph holding a bong and later tested positive for marijuana, a series of events that led to Romero being suspended from the team for several weeks. Then, reports emerged that a fight with a teammate is what set in motion Houston baseball coach Todd Whitting's decision to kick Romero off the team

Romero would have possibly been picked in the top 10 if not for his off-field issues and instead cost himself a lot of money as he fell to No. 25 in the first round. Now, he has already been sent home by the Nationals, just a few weeks into spring training in what was supposed to be his first full season in professional baseball. 

Romero is only 21, so there's still time to turn things around -- especially given his exceptional level of talent -- but this needs to be his wake-up call. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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