We’ve finally done it, plowing through the Phillies minor-leagues into the top five prospects in the system. This section will start off with the No. 5 prospect outfielder Roman Quinn.
The Phillies were desperate for outfield help this season, but no prospects were able to contribute to the major-league roster. That was until the Phillies called up Roman Quinn after Double-A Reading’s postseason run was cut short after just one series.
Quinn did better than I expected in his limited major-league action, carrying a .373 on-base percentage in 15 games. While he didn’t hit for power, Quinn performed well for a player who leapfrogged Triple-A on their way to the majors. Quinn couldn’t finish the year with the Phillies, falling victim to an oblique injury just a week before the season ended.
Injuries are almost synonymous with Quinn at this point in his career. He already missed time this season with another oblique injury. Quinn went on the shelf in June of the 2015 season after tearing his hip flexor legging out a bunt. He has yet to play a full season in his minor-league career.
While injuries have always plagued Quinn, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer said Quinn’s “injuries have been freakish and there’s not much you can do to prevent them.” Double-A Reading and now Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dusty Wathan told Breen Quinn has “done everything he can off the field as far as keeping himself in shape, doing all the prep work and stuff.” While Quinn’s injuries could easily be attributed to shoddy luck, it’s still a major problem Quinn has dealt with throughout his career.
When Quinn isn’t sitting on the disabled list, he is an electric player. In 58 games at Double-A in 2015, Quinn slashed .306/.356/.435 and only continued his success this year with a .287/.361/.441 line in 71 games. Quinn has the ability to get on base with both his bat and his plate discipline, walking at a 9.3% rate this season. Dan Farnsworth of Fangraphs said Quinn “has a gift for making contact that should make him a valuable big-league outfielder rather than just a great athlete that you hope finds a way to hit.”
When Quinn gets on base is when he is at his best. His speed is top-of-the-line and by far the best in the Phillies system. Quinn went 36-for-45 in stolen bases between Double-A and the majors this season. If he can make it through a full season, Quinn could easily steal 50+ bases per year.
Quinn’s speed also translates well when he is on defense. The converted shortstop has no problem manning center field with the speed to track down nearly every ball that comes his way. MLB.com said Quinn “improved his routes and jumps as well, projecting as an above-average defender.” Quinn also flashed a cannon of an arm with a 96 mph, 217 foot bullet to home from center field according to Statcast.
Even though he did fairly well in the major-leagues this season and has all the tools to succeed, Quinn may return to Triple-A to polish off his game. The team remains adamant about keeping Aaron Altherr in right and the team is expected to sign a veteran outfielder to man left field. Rather than coming off the bench, Quinn would develop more in a starting role at Triple-A.
If Roman Quinn’s injury history is nothing more than a fluke, he could be an everyday contributor in center field for the Phillies. However, that is a big if, and injuries can derail even the most dynamic players. Quinn can reach his ceiling of a leadoff hitter, but a healthy season has to happen first.