CLEARWATER, FL — Great expectations have the power to pip a young athlete’s work ethic, but don’t bother telling that to Roman Quinn.
The 19-year-old shortstop’s stock has skyrocketed since being drafted 66th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011, and he’s currently trending upward in their farm system.
The switch hitter had a .281 batting average, 56 runs, 30 stolen bases and a league-leading 11 triples for the Williamsport Crosscutters in the Class A New York-Penn League.
“I didn’t expect to get as many triples as I did last year. I’m actually trying to hit three or four more than I did last year,” said Quinn with a smile.
The Phillies recently ranked Quinn as the fifth-best prospect in their minor-league system after only one full season of baseball for the team.
Furthermore, he remarkably sneaked on to the Baseball America top 100 prospects list – creeping into the last spot.
Despite seeing almost-instant success, the native of Port St Joe, Fl., remains grounded.
“They warn us all the time about the bad things that happen to players,” said Quinn. “Hard work and dedication always pays off.”
Quinn was speaking at the Paul Owens Training Facility, conveniently located next to Brighthouse Field, where Philadelphia’s major-league players were going toe-to-toe with the Washington Nationals.
Compared to Jimmy Rollins
Quinn is often compared to current Phillies shortstop, Jimmy Rollins, the former National League MVP who has four Gold Glove Awards and a World Series ring.
The comparison also highlights baserunning, as both Rollins and Quinn are very adept at stealing bases.
“He’s a really good player and being compared to him feels pretty good,” said Quinn. “We’ve mostly got the same game.”
The similarities don’t stop there.
Rollins and Quinn are both switch hitters, and the latter began learning the art of swinging from both sides of the plate just last year.
“I’m 100 per cent more comfortable right now because when I first started it was pretty tough getting adjusted to the pitching and everything,” said Quinn. “We’re both small switch-hitting shortstops.”
It’s becoming clear why the Phillies are very excited about Quinn’s potential.
He came to the team as an athletic centre-fielder and has since matured into a high-speed, switch-hitting shortstop. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and also excelled as a point guard and quarterback.
Number four relished the challenge.
“Before I was moving way too fast for shortstop and once I start slowing down I’ll get more consistent at that position,” said Quinn. “I started switch hitting last year…the more reps I got the better I got.”
Quinn is being expedited through the Phillies’ organization, and at this rate, it won’t be long before he ends up in the majors. He smiled when asked about his estimated time of arrival.
“A couple of years from now, god-willing.”