Phillies prospect Quinn heads group playing in Arizona Fall League

Posted: August 28, 2014

THE ONLY THING more discouraging for Phillies fans eager to see the current season come to an end is the dearth of major league-ready talent in the minor leagues.

Pitchers Aaron Nola and Jesse Biddle could be ready for the big leagues at some point in 2015, but not in April. After power-hitting corner infielder Maikel Franco, there isn't a prospect realistically expected to compete for a job at big league camp next spring.

But shortly after the 2014 season ends, a ray of hope within the lower levels of the minor league system will be on display out west. Former top shortstop prospect Roman Quinn is one of six Phillies minor leaguers who will represent the organization at the Arizona Fall League in October.

"He's going to be our priority player there," said Joe Jordan, the Phillies' director of player development. "For me, he's going to be an impact player. I still believe that."

Quinn, 21, is less than a year removed from right Achilles' tendon surgery. Quinn ruptured the tendon last October, after missing the last 3 months of the 2013 season at Low A Lakewood after breaking his left hand.

Quinn returned to the field in May. But fewer than 20 games into his 2014 schedule at Class A Clearwater, Quinn was presented with another challenge: With top prospect J.P. Crawford ready for the jump from Lakewood to Clearwater, the Phillies moved the speedy Quinn into centerfield.

"He's done really well," Jordan said. "I saw him right after he started, and I just left Clearwater last week, and he's a centerfielder. There's some things that I don't think he's 100 percent comfortable with, where he'll just sell out to a route or just take his eyes off the ball and just go to a spot because that's where the ball's going to be."

And thus, the benefits of getting more reps in the Arizona Fall League.

Quinn is a prime candidate for the Fall League after missing parts of each of the last two seasons with injuries, while also getting more time to get accustomed to centerfield and hitting from both sides of the plate, too. The Phillies made Quinn a switch-hitter shortly after selecting him in the second round of the 2011 draft.

"Lefthanded he's behind, but, again, he's still learning that part of it," Jordan said.

Although five of his six home runs have come from the left side, Quinn has hit .228 with a .652 OPS as a lefthanded hitter and .315/.789 from the right side.

His top tool, however, continues to be his speed.

Despite having undergone Achilles' surgery last October, Quinn has gone 30-for-40 in stolen-base attempts in 83 games this season. In three minor league seasons, Quinn has racked up 92 stolen bases in 216 games.

"It's impressive when that's the thing we're worried about - how much [speed] did he lose?" Jordan said.

Joining Quinn on the roster of the AFL's Scottsdale Scorpions: Reading catcher Logan Moore, Clearwater lefthander Ethan Stewart, and Reading righthanders Ryan O'Sullivan, Nefi Ogando and Colton Murray. The Phillies will add another player to the AFL roster within the next month.

Phillers

A.J. Burnett is the first player in major league history to record 12-strikeout games with five different teams, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Burnett struck out a dozen in the Phillies' 3-2 win on Monday night; it was the 10th time in his 16-year career he reached 12 strikeouts (four with Florida/Miami, three with Toronto, and one each with Pittsburgh, the New York Yankees and the Phillies) . . . First-round pick Aaron Nola is scheduled to make his final start of the 2014 season with Double A Reading in Trenton on Friday. Nola, the seventh overall pick in the draft, has gone 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in 11 games between Clearwater and Reading, striking out 43 while walking 10 in 50 1/3 innings. Nola will continue to work out in Clearwater once the season is over, working out in Instructional League play . . . Lefthanded pitching prospect Adam Morgan, who underwent shoulder surgery last winter, has thrown this month and could see time on the mound in Instructional League play next month, according to Joe Jordan. Morgan is expected to be ready this spring, where he'll likely compete for a job in the Triple A rotation. Righthander Shane Watson, however, has been slow to recover from his own winter shoulder surgery. Jordan said he wasn't sure when Watson could begin throwing. Watson was the Phillies' top pick (40th overall) in the 2012 draft.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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