PHILADELPHIA—The morning after Double-A Reading was eliminated from the Eastern League playoffs, center fielder Roman Quinn jumped in a car and headed to Washington to join the big club.
The two-hour drive felt like 20 minutes.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Quinn, 23. “It’s what I’ve been playing the game for.”
The Phillies believe Quinn could make a quick ascension to a full-time spot in the outfield and at the top of the lineup, possibly as soon as early next season. That’s why the organization wasted no time getting him to the majors for a September callup.
Team officials eagerly gauged Quinn’s readiness for the majors—he batted second and started in center in his first game—though his stint with Philadelphia ended with an oblique injury.
A second-round pick in 2011 out of Port St. Joe (Fla.) High, Quinn is a speedy switch-hitter who has drawn comparisons with Jimmy Rollins for his body type and ability to generate electricity. In the spring, he earned a mention from general manager Matt Klentak as the most eye-opening player in big league camp.
When sent to the minors, Quinn said he had one goal: to stay healthy and play a full season. That was understandable considering the time he missed in recent seasons with leg and wrist injuries.
Quinn did not make it through the season unscathed. An oblique injury and a concussion limited him to 71 games at Reading. He hit .287/.361/.441 with six home runs and 31 stolen bases in 39 tries.
Despite the missed time, Quinn believes he improved in an important area.
“I became a more complete leadoff hitter,” he said. “I walked more, got on base more. That was one thing I wanted to do.”
The Phillies, who scored fewer runs than any major league team and recorded the second-worst on-base percentage (.301) in the majors, need players with on-base skills. Quinn might soon have a chance to help.
• Righthander Ben Lively won the Owens award as the system’s top pitcher. He went 18-5, 2.69 in 28 starts between Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.