Phils' phenom Quinn shows upside in AFL action

Team's No. 5 prospect gets two hits, RBIs while getting more experience in outfield

Phils' phenom Quinn shows upside in AFL action

After the first week of the Arizona Fall League season, Roman Quinn had more stolen bases (four) than hits (three).

That changed Tuesday, as Quinn collected two hits and drove in his first two runs of the fall to help visiting Scottsdale defeat Mesa, 10-7. The victory extended the Scorpions' winning streak to four games.

Quinn, the Phillies' No. 5 prospect, finished the game 2-for-6. He is hitting .200/.286/.200 in six games this fall.

Despite a somewhat slow start to the fall, Quinn said he feels good at the plate.

"I'm hitting balls on the line, they just can't find the holes right now," he said. "But it feels pretty good to get two hits today."

The Scorpions took an early lead Tuesday, scoring four runs in the second off left-hander Sean Nolin, and Quinn was in the middle of it. Josh Bell and L.J. Mazzilli began the inning with back-to-back doubles and Matt Reynolds and Logan Moore followed with back-to-back walks. Quinn rapped a single up the middle, driving in two runs and knocking Nolin out of the game.

Scottsdale went on to score once more in the inning and added five more runs over the next two innings.

The beneficiary of the early lead was left-hander Joely Rodriguez, who threw three scoreless innings and picked up his first win in the AFL. He struck out three and held the Solar Sox to one hit and one walk.

Quinn said the Scorpions offense and starting pitching have been the keys to their winning streak.

"We're playing great baseball," he said. "Our starters are doing good and we're hitting the ball really well in key situations."

Bell, the Pirates' No. 3 prospect, finished the game 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' No. 3 prospect, went 2-for-3 with three walks, a run and an RBI.

Despite the early deficit, the Solar Sox were able to fight back into the game. They ultimately were able to bring the tying run to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth. But right-hander Nefi Ogando came out of the bullpen to get the final two outs and earn his second save of the fall.

First baseman Matt Olson, the A's No. 2 prospect, went 1-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two RBIs. He has hit three home runs in four games this fall, tying him with Surprise catcher Peter O'Brien, the D-backs' No. 7 prospect, atop the AFL leaderboard.

Offense was the focus in Tuesday's game, but for Quinn, the AFL is also providing him a chance to work on his defense. After playing shortstop for the first two years of his professional career, the Phillies moved him to center field in June. The move was made partially in deference to top prospect J.P. Crawford and partially because Quinn will be able to better use his elite speed as an outfielder.

Quinn played the outfield in high school and center field throughout the second half of the season for Class A Advanced Clearwater. He said he worked with Andy Abad, the Phillies outfield coordinator, while he was in Clearwater and also reached out to childhood friend Mallex Smith, now an outfielder in the Padres system, for advice.

After playing the outfield for about four months, Quinn said he once again feels comfortable at the position.

"I feel really good out there," Quinn said. "I'm getting good jumps and making the right decisions and my arm feels good. It feels natural."

Quinn missed the first six weeks of the regular season at Clearwater as he continued to recover from a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during the offseason. Once he got back on the field, he hit .257/.343/.370 with seven home runs and 32 stolen bases in 88 games.

This fall, Quinn is making up for that lost development time. He said he hopes to work on all facets of his game during the AFL.

"I want to get better out there in center field, obviously, and get more at-bats from the left side," said Quinn, a switch-hitter.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.