Roman Quinn and dreams of steals
Currently Billy Hamilton is on pace to steal something close to 160 bases on the year. This begs the question of what we can do against such madness. The first instinct is to hold on to our Eric Young Jr.s tight and pray that they don’t kill the rest of our teams too bad. The total number of steals has fluctuated greatly over the past few seasons, but in fantasy many players who provide value in stolen bases don’t necessarily help in other categories, and in worst case scenarios they struggle to hold on to major league jobs long enough to even get the opportunities that they need.
Last year we saw the return of one of the great speed hopes in the minor leagues in Phillies shortstop Roman Quinn. Quinn broke on to the scene in 2012 when he hit well in short season and put up 30 stolen bases in 66 games. He then followed that up with 32 in 67 games in 2013 before a pitch broke his wrist. While rehabbing he then tore his Achilles and missed the beginning of the next season. The big concern was whether his speed would come back, especially after he only stole 3 bases in his first 21 games back. However, over the course of the year he put up numbers close to his previous totals, before then leading the Arizona Fall League in stolen bases.
All of this talk of speed is less relevant for Quinn than two other factors that have emerged recently, his power and defense. Lets start with the defense. Much like Hamilton, Roman Quinn is now a center fielder, unlike Hamilton he might have been able to handle shortstop, but this guy named J.P. Crawford came along and forced him to a position where his speed works. So far the returns have been as good as expected, Quinn flies around the outfield. His routes are a bit rough but the speed works, and this is important, because the path to the outfield in Philadelphia is wide open. Right now Rule 5 pick Odubel Herrera has taken over for Ben Revere (now in left field), but he is no lock to hold on to the job or a spot in the majors. In addition to the way being open, the Phillies are looking for young players and are looking for speed and defense while they rebuild their major league roster.
Now that we have a defensive path, we need an offensive path. As you may or may not know, Roman Quinn is a switch hitter, he has only been a switch hitter since the year before he was drafted. He is a natural right handed hitter, which causes a problem because scouts aren’t sure how well he will hit from the right side. The good news is that they like his left handed swing more even though the numbers haven’t been there, and while Quinn may have abandoned shortstop for a return to the outfield, a stop to switch hitting is not in the works. On the contrary, Quinn has become more confident from the left side.
|Right Handed||Left Handed|
So far in 2015 Quinn has 3 XBHs (2B, 3B, HR) all have been while hitting left handed
From his left side Quinn has enough power to be a consistent addition to his speed stats. As he should add more walks from the left side long term as pitchers respect his power potential. At his best Quinn could hit 10+ home runs a year and steal 30 to 40 bases. The combination of offensive improvement and defensive base gives him a much better change than there was a year ago.
Lets top all of this all off by mentioning that Quinn must go on the 40 man roster this year so a September call up could happen and that is path to the majors isn’t that far away.