Photo by Bryan Green
We’re just six games into the Double A season for the Reading Fightin Phils, but the future of the Phillies outfield is finally starting to shine. Small in stature at just 5’10”, Roman Quinn, the soon to be 22-year-old out of Port St. Joe High School in Florida, has really put together a great first week of the season.
Quinn leads all Fightin Phils hitters through six games with a .478 batting average and 1.408 OPS. He has brought stability to the Reading lineup and has given the top of their lineup a boost batting lead off. Quinn is 11 for his 23 at-bats with two double, two triples and a home run while stealing 4 bags. He’s scored 9 of the Phils 32 scored this year, more than double anyone else on the team. Not only is he getting on base, but he’s putting his teammates in a position to drive him in as well.
It has been quite the battle for Quinn since being drafted in the 2nd Round of the 2011 draft by the Phillies. He is a natural right-handed hitting shortstop who began switch hitting during his senior year of high school.
The Phillies drafted him with the intention of him being the shortstop of the future for them and to one day take over for incumbent Jimmy Rollins. That quickly changed when the team viewed Roman’s best long-term success as either a second baseman or center fielder, the latter being a position he regularly played in high school. It was all but solidified when the team drafted fellow shortstop J.P. Crawford 16th overall in the 2013 draft. Crawford’s size and talent potential made him an obvious choice to eventually be the future shortstop of the Phillies.
Quinn’s short professional career has been injury-ridden and filled with setbacks. Midway through the 2013 season, Quinn suffered a broken left wrist after being struck by an inside fastball while at-bat. His second injury occurred later that year early in the off-season, rupturing his right Achilles tendon while going through his routine workouts and sprint drills.
After overcoming both injuries, Quinn joined Single A Clearwater in 2014 and has not looked back since. While his batting average last season may have dipped slightly below his career average of .263, he saw a minimal increase in his power numbers, hitting 7 home runs, but most importantly his speed returned to where it was pre-injury, swiping 30+ bags for the third consecutive season.
Without a doubt, Quinn’s path to the majors, regardless of what position he ends up at, is through his speed. This his his first season in Reading, which will hopefully be Roman’s first full season of minor league baseball. It will certainly be a determining factor as to whether or not the Phillies can rely on the prospect, which Baseball America rated as the Phillies #7 prospect heading into 2015, as a viable option to contribute in the near future at the Major League level.