His first professional baseball season turned into a record-breaker for Port St. Joe’s Roman Quinn.
The 19-year-old in his first season of Class A short-season ball, playing for the Williamsport Crosscutters of the New York-Penn League, became a fan favorite and set several club marks during 2012, according to a story by Trevor Turner for the Crosscutters.
"He's better at every single thing he's done since he's been here," said Crosscutters manager Andy Tracy, "We knocked a little rubble off of this diamond. He's going to become something special and I think we all see that.”
Quinn, who played shortstop sporadically in high school, made the switch from center field and also learned to switch hit during his first pro season. He was selected an All-Star and set Williamsport records for triples and runs scored.
"I really wasn't expecting all this to happen," Quinn told Turner. "Me switch-hitting for the first time. It's unbelievable. I can't ask for a better first year. It's been great."
In 66 games, Quinn hit .281 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage for a .778 OPS, combined on-base and slugging percentage.
Quinn scored 56 runs and stole 30 bases in 36 attempts, had 11 triples, nine doubles, one home run and walked 28 times while striking out 60 times.
He had .256 as a lefty after struggling early and hit .347 as a right-hander.
Quinn was a home crowd favorite due to his speed, Turner wrote, and the home crowd gave Quinn a huge ovation when he finally hit his first home run after a sterling All-Star Game appearance, during which he was 2 for 2 with a double and inside-the-park home run.
"He's not just slapping the ball," Tracy said. "He's driven the ball off the wall the other way. He's pulled a home run. He's hitting triples to both fields."
Quinn told Turner he was disappointed to "only" steal 30 bases this summer.
"My goal was forty,” Quinn said. “I think when I get into the instructional league” (in Florida this fall) “I want to learn how to steal third more. I also want to read lefty (pickoff) moves better."
Quinn was one of nine teenagers on the Crosscutters roster.
Quinn also garnered praise in Philly.com, where the website had a rundown of the Phillies’ minor league system in 2012.
Interviewing Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ director of player development, the website noted Quinn as the outstanding player in Rookie Ball and Williamsport.
Under the title of “Best story” the website, quoting Jordan, listed Quinn, the Phillies second-round pick in 2011, who “had team officials salivating over his talent” during extended spring training and “he showed the world why at Williamsport with his speed and plate discipline.”
“His speed is game-changing,” Jordan told the website. “I think he set the team record for triples. He made some errors” (a team-high 27) “and most of them were throwing, but the progress he made defensively was really exciting. He has a chance to be as good a switch-hitting hitter as you will see.”