After bouncing back from significant surgery last season, Roman Quinn showed exactly why he has been so highly regarded since he was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2011 draft.
Making his pro debut with short-season Class A Williamsport in 2012, Quinn shined, putting together a .281 average with nine doubles, a league-leading 11 triples, one homer and 23 RBI while swiping 30 bases in 36 opportunities.
Those excellent offensive efforts came while learning to switch hit and adapting to a defensive switch to the infield after playing mostly outfield prior to signing his first pro deal.
Comfort was a big factor for Quinn in 2013, according to his Class A Lakewood coaches, who saw things get easier for the youngster at the plate as the season went on. Quinn opened that campaign as a 19-year-old. He got off to a rough start, batting .202 with a .556 OPS in 22 April games. In May, things began to look up, offensively, for Quinn, as he tallied a .304 average with an .874 OPS in 26 contests. His season would not last much longer, as the Florida resident was hit by a pitch that resulted in a broken left wrist in June.
The Florida native wrapped up his 2013 BlueClaws campaign sporting a .238 average with seven doubles, three triples, five home runs and 32 stolen bases in 41 chances through 67 games.
Unable to compete in the Florida Instructional League, due to the slow healing wrist, Quinn continued to work out and suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon while running sprints in the autumn. Surgery came soon afterward and Quinn missed considerable time.
Originally expected to miss the majority of the 2014 season, Quinn was back on the field by mid-May and impressed many with the strides that he took.
Playing in 88 contests, the most he’s played in any of his three pro seasons, for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Quinn returned to post a .257 batting average along with 10 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 36 RBI..
In the interest of making up for lost time, the Phillies wanted Quinn to see more action in the off-season and sent him to play in the Arizona Fall League. In 24 games with Scottsdale, he batted .250 with two triples, two home runs and nine RBI.
The swift rise of the Phils’ top 2013 draft choice J.P. Crawford, a shortstop, did away with Quinn’s assignment at the same position. He was repositioned to center field, where he played in high school, a change that boosted his comfort level on the field. Defensively, Quinn has a strong arm and has displayed excellent range in the outfield.
At the plate, the five-foot-10 170-pounder, displays gap power from both sides, as he strives to improve his switch-hitting ability. Quinn is a natural right-handed batter which shows in his Clearwater splits (.327 average from the right side, .227 average from the left side). If those numbers don’t balance out, Quinn’s switch-hitting days may not last beyond 2015.
Quinn’s walk rate (9.2% in three pro seasons) has been quite good, considering his age and other hurdles. As his experience increases, so should his ability to draw free passes. His strike out rate (20.7% career mark) is evidence there’s room for improvement with making contact, which the Phillies are confident will come as Quinn gets more pro at bats.
On the bases, Quinn was among the fastest players in the minor leagues prior to his Achilles injury. He was regularly praised for his skills at beating out grounders for hits, stealing bases with ease and taking extra bases where others would not be able to. His speed was said to be back to 100-percent, with a steal tally of 32 in 44 opportunities for Clearwater and 14 steals in 16 chances for Scottsdale following the surgery last year.
The 21-year-old possesses the raw tools to potentially be an impact player in the big leagues one day. It’s likely that Quinn could return to Clearwater to open the 2015 season.
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