► Reports and Scouting:
Role: Above Average Regular
Risk: Medium – Quinn has already reached the majors and could start there in 2017. He has so far avoided long term consequences from injuries, but if he loses any of his speed or athleticism, he will have trouble being an everyday player.
Summary: Is a player injury prone if they suffer many different injuries, with some freak injuries, without showing a pattern of injury to a certain body part? The answer to that question could sway your opinion of Roman Quinn. In 2016, Quinn missed time in the middle of the season due to an oblique injury and then missed a week at the end of the minor league season due to a concussion. The soft tissue injuries (oblique, hamstring, and to a lesser extent Achilles) are concerning, but Quinn missing time to broken bones (HBP) and concussion (pick off throw) isn’t something that should be concerning going forward. Despite the lower body injuries, Quinn has maintained elite speed and is one of the fastest runners in baseball. In the field, Quinn has taken well to center field, where his speed allows him to make up for mistakes in route running. He is also able to play both outfield corners, and he still has a shortstop’s plus arm. At the plate, Quinn has become a credible switch hitter. He has more power when hitting left handed but is able to maintain higher contact rates from the right side. Quinn’s strikeouts did rise a little in 2016, as he got off to a slow start in Reading, hitting only .233/.290/.337 in April with 5 walks to 23 strikeouts. Despite his injuries, he closed out his minor league season well, hitting .329/.402/.495 from May 1 until his promotion to the majors (10.3% BB%, 19.0% K%). Quinn had a fine major league debut too, drawing walks and being a terror on the bases. Despite his size, Quinn has some power and could hit close to 10 home runs a year at his peak. Additionally, his speed allows him to stretch singles into doubles and doubles into triples. Quinn still needs to work on becoming a more successful base stealer, but his speed alone allowed him to steal 41 bases in 92 games. Over a full season of major league games, he could be close to 50 steals. In an ideal world, Quinn would strike out less, and he does need to do better than his major league rate, but if he can maintain his walk rate he should get on base enough to cause problems. The Phillies don’t have a spot in center field, now that Odubel Herrera is locked up long term, but there is still a role in the outfield for Quinn if he can hit at a high rate.
2017 Outlook: With the Phillies signing Michael Saunders, Quinn will open the year in AAA. He will have to race fellow outfielders Nick Williams and Dylan Cozens for the chance to unseat Howie Kendrick or be the first injury call up. The important thing for Quinn will be getting regular at bats, something that will require him to stay healthy.
Role: First Division Regular
Risk: High – Roman Quinn might start the year in AAA, but he has yet to have a full healthy season. Much of Quinn’s game is based around speed and if his speed slips he could come in below his ceiling. Quinn does get some safety from plus defense in the outfield, which takes some pressure off of his bat.
Summary: This season was supposed to be Roman Quinn’s big breakout year. He had fully recovered from his Achilles injury and was now finally settled in as a full time center fielder. He started by ripping through AA, showing a better feel for contact and power, to go along with his electric speed. He then tore his quad and was out until mid August, when he played backfield games in Clearwater. Roman Quinn is a natural right handed hitter and had put up his best average against lefties, however scouts always liked his left handed swing more, because he got power and dynamic contact (though with worse overall numbers). This season, the two swings seemed to find a happy medium, with his left handed swing making more contact while his right handed swing saw a large uptick in power. Overall, his swings are fairly quick and more geared for line drives than fly balls, with the left handed swing still having more pop, but less contact, than his right handed swing. Quinn has also shown a good approach (it is better from the right handed side) and cut his strikeout rate in 2015. He won’t hit for a ton of power, but he could hit 10 home runs a year at his peak, while peppering the gaps with extra base hits. Quinn’s defense in 2015 was a big reason for his early season hype. The former shortstop took well to the outfield, showing the ability to be a plus defender in center field. His arm also translated to the outfield, becoming a weapon in center field, with him gunning down 8 runners in his 58 games. Quinn still does not take the most efficient routes in center, so some improvement could make him an elite defender when coupled with his speed. The speed is what brings everything together for Quinn. On the base paths he is a terror, and his stolen base efficiency should rise as he picks his spots more. However, there is room for him to steal 50+ bases a year. Additionally, the speed allows his hit and power tools to play up by turning groundouts into hits and singles to doubles. On defense, he has enormous range, and his speed allows for him to make up for mistakes in route running. The tools are there for Quinn to be a highly impactful major league player. The big problem is that he just completed his 5th pro season, and his career high for games played is 88 (or 112 if you count fall/winter ball). Up to now, none of his injuries have been recurring, and he has come back from each one, but there is a lingering hesitancy that he might be injury prone. That coupled with a smaller frame gives pause as to whether he can hold up over a full season. A completely healthy Quinn would rate 4 or 5 spots higher on this list.
2016 Outlook: Quinn might get a return to Reading as the Phillies look to balance the center field reps between him and Nick Williams. Quinn is already on the 40 man roster, so a call up is not a huge inconvenience for the Phillies if they need a center fielder in a pinch. The biggest obstacle to Quinn reaching the majors might be the other outfielders in the system, of which three (Williams, Altherr, and Herrera) play a comparable center field.
What Happened: Quinn got off to a blazing start in AA showing more power and approach than previous seasons. He was able to put his elite speed to use both on the bases and in the field. All together he was starting to look like an average major league center fielder with a chance to be a plus everyday player. However, at the height of all of this he hurt his quad and hip flexor which has put him out until mid August at the earliest.
What Next: The key for Quinn is whether he can get healthy and how fast a runner he is when he gets back. I am not convinced that Quinn is injury prone, but it is worth keeping an eye on. Quinn could get a return trip to the AFL if he is healthy, in order to make up for lost time.
Role: Solid Regular
Risk: Medium – A lot of evaluators question the impact of Quinn’s bat due to a light hit tool. However, the defense in center field could be impactful on its own, and he will open the year in AA, only a short trip away from the majors.
Summary: After missing the end of 2013 due to a wrist injury and then tearing his Achilles, Quinn’s prospect status was teetering a year ago. It has been quite a comeback for Quinn. A move to center field has left Quinn more relaxed, and his offense has responded. Quinn’s 80 grade speed is almost all the way back, and it aids him in the outfield where he can cover lots of ground. At the plate, scouts continue to like his left handed swing more than his right handed swing (despite numeric results to the opposite). A lot of scouts wonder if the hit tool is only below average. Quinn does have sneaky power due to good strength, but the lack of plane to his swing might not get him enough loft. Quinn went to the AFL with the goal of working on his approach, and the initial results were very good. The defensive transition has reshaped the narrative on Quinn; at shortstop the question was whether his bat could overcome his defensive deficiencies, yet in center field the question is more whether the glove can overcome the concerns with the bat. Quinn will go to Reading in 2015, and I am looking for his bat to take another step forward.