- Full name Omar Quintanilla
- Born 10/24/1981 in El Paso, TX
- Profile Ht.: 5'9" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Texas
- Debut 07/31/2005
Drafted in the C-1 round (33rd overall) by the Oakland Athletics in 2003 (signed for $992,500).
View Draft ReportQuintanilla doesn't do anything spectacularly, but he's a solid all-around player with exceptional hand-eye coordination. His strong suit is his ability to hit for average and being lefthanded only helps his cause. He makes contact, draws walks and provides the occasional stolen base and extra-base hit. While Quintanilla has played mostly shortstop and third base at Texas, his size (5-foot-9 and 185 pounds) and range will fit better at second base as a pro. Then again, he's bigger and has more arm strength than David Eckstein. At worst, Quintanilla should be a super utility player, and he's generating third- to fifth-round interest.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Looking for a quality middle infielder, the Rockies jumped at the opportunity to pick up Quintanilla in the Joe Kennedy-Eric Byrnes trade last July. Quintanilla never had played above Double-A and was rushed to the majors after 13 Triple-A games because Colorado needed bodies. In a perfect world, he'd get at least a half-season of Triple-A seasoning in 2006, but he may earn a spot on the big league roster by default because of the Rockies' limited infield depth. A sparkplug on Texas' 2002 College World Series championship club, he has the makeup to handle the challenge if needed. A career .320 hitter in the minors, Quintanilla not only can hit for average but also can sting the ball into the gaps. Scouts like the way he uses the opposite field, though he got into trouble in the majors by becoming too pull-conscious, leading to problems with breaking pitches. He controls the strike zone and is aggressive because of the confidence he has in his ability to handle the bat. Quintanilla doesn't have the range teams look for at shortstop, but he makes plays thanks to his quick hands and strong instincts. He had no problem adapting to second base at the big league level. He has average speed and is a smart baserunner.
After a successful college career at Texas, Quintanilla has continued to do nothing but hit as a pro. He owns a career .330 average in 171 pro games, and registered a hit in all but two games after an August promotion to Double-A Midland. Quintanilla's line-drive stroke leads to consistent contact and surprising gap power for his size. He has soft hands and excellent fundamentals in the field, making plays on any ball he can reach. He's a better baserunner than his average speed might indicate. His instincts accentuate his tools. His aggressive hitting style leads to few walks, and Quintanilla has resisted a more patient approach because of the success he's achieved so far. He may lack the athleticism and arm strength to stay at shortstop, but would profile as a solid second baseman. With Bobby Crosby entrenched at shortstop, Quintanilla is Oakland's second baseman of the future. He'll stay on the left side of the infield for now and return to Double-A.
Quintanilla was somewhat of a surprise as a supplemental first-round pick, but his strong pro debut was not. He had established a sterling track record at Texas, where he was the Big 12 Conference freshman of the year in 2001 and a key player on a College World Series championship team the following year. Quintanilla has solid all-around tools and knows how to get the most out of them. He's capable of producing for average and gap power. He has average speed and good baserunning instincts. Defensively, he has excellent hands and consistently makes the routine plays. He entered pro ball with tendinitis in his throwing arm, so Quintanilla never showed what he could do at shortstop. He's thick-bodied and will have to work hard to maintain his quickness, and even then may have to move to second base. He often hits in early counts, contradicting the A's preference for their hitters to take pitches and draw walks. Quintanilla will return to high Class A and try to build on his early success. The A's say he can stay at shortstop, and he'd still be an above-average offensive player at second base if he has to move.
Minor League Top Prospects
Quintanilla went to the Rockies in a mid-July deal that also sent Eric Byrnes to Colorado for Joe Kennedy and Jay Witasick. Though the Rockies also have a TL affiliate, they immediately moved him to Triple-A and brought him to the big leagues 18 days after the trade. Quintanilla's numbers at Midland were the worst of his career, but he's an advanced hitter with doubles power. He's an aggressive hitter, particularly for someone who came through the Athletics organization, and needs to get more selective. His tools at shortstop are just average, but he seems to make all the plays, especially in big situations. He played a few games at second in Midland and in Colorado, and scouts see his future there, at third base (though he wouldn't have the power for the position) or as a utilityman. "He's just a good player, the kind you've got to see every day to appreciate," one scout said. "He's a horrible guy to go watch one time, but he's the kind of guy every team should have."
Quintanilla hit just .235 in April before finding his line-drive stroke. He hit .355 after May, earning an August promotion to Double-A, where he batted .353 to push his two-year career average to .330. Quintanilla will hit for average with gap power, though at times he can get pull-conscious. While he makes good contact, he lacks the plate discipline the Athletics preach, and he's an average-at-best runner. Short and stocky, Quintanilla is fundamentally sound defensively but lacks the athleticism and arm strength to stay at shortstop. Nearly everyone who saw him in the Cal League projected that he would move to second base, and he drew comparisons to Glenn Hubbard, Randy Velarde and Todd Walker, all serviceable big league second basemen.
Quintanilla draws parallels to Pirates infielder Freddy Sanchez as a hard worker who plays above his individual tools. Quintanilla draws praise for his hustle and hard-nosed play, but he's smaller, stockier and less athletic than Sanchez. Defensively, Quintanilla has good hands and actions at shortstop, and his below-average arm and speed play a little better than that because of his instincts and aggressiveness. He's a better fit as a second baseman or utility infielder. Though Quintanilla isn't fast, he still steals bases because of his smarts. He shows a short, quick stroke at the plate, makes adjustments and handles the bat well enough to hit second in the order. "He looks like he will hit," Rogers said. "He's a line-drive hitter who goes to the opposite field well and can pull it when he needs to."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Oakland Athletics in 2005