Interview with San Francisco Giants Prospect Heath Quinn
Around the Foghorn was able to have a quick discussion with San Francisco Giants outfield prospect Heath Quinn to ask a few questions.
The San Francisco Giants drafted the outfielder in the 3rd round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., which is where Quinn is from.
“I thought it was great being able to stay at home and go to a college I’m familiar with,” said Quinn. “I liked how coach (Casey) Dunn and coach (Tony) David and those guys develop their players. To see them and the stuff they had as a program growing up was definitely attractive to me. And I knew if I went there coach Dunn would do all he could to help me. I had a great time there and wish them the best.”
In three seasons with the Bulldogs he hit a combined .334 with 44 home runs over 709 at-bats. He was an All-American his senior season after hitting .343 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI.
Quinn has had the opportunity to go through the draft process twice as he was taken in the 12th round of the 2013 MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians.
“It’s definitely nerve racking not knowing what’s going to happen – it’s a very unpredictable day,” Quinn talking about the draft process. “In the end whatever happens, happens and you just go from there.
“I felt like it probably wasn’t the right time to go out of high school. I probably needed to develop a little more, and I think I made the right choice going to Samford.”
Fortunately for the Giants, he did turn down the opportunity to go pro out of Oak Mountain High School.
Growing up in Alabama, the Giants obviously weren’t a team on Quinn’s radar.
“I didn’t really know much about the Giants growing up on the east coast, but I definitely was familiar with them,” Quinn noted. “I actually grew up a Red Sox fan. I liked Big Papi and those guys. But whatever team drafted me I was going to be lucky to have an opportunity — so, it really didn’t matter. It was just a matter of seeing where I was going to go.”
After being drafted by the Giants in 2016, he immediately had an impact in the minor leagues. He started with the short season team in Arizona where he played just two games.
Quinn spent most of that season at Low-A where he hit .337 in 205 at-bats with 9 home runs.
Then he ended the season trying to help the High-A team in San Jose in the playoffs where he was 6-for-17.
“It was really fun (first year in pro ball)” Quinn added. “I didn’t really know what to expect. I went to short season to start off with – I had a good time there. And I ended up in San Jose at the end of the year for the playoffs. It was fun.
“I had obviously never played pro ball before, and it was just fun not having to go to class. You just show up to the field and it’s baseball every day. It really wasn’t that much of a transition because I had just come off a season (in college), but it was definitely fun.”
He ultimately got 469 at-bats between college and pro ball in 2016. You have to figure all of those at-bats could have led to fatigue for Quinn as he suffered an injury in spring training to start the 2017 season.
“Yeah, it definitely sucked getting hurt in spring training and being out for a month and a half to start the year,” Quinn said. “It was definitely a long year of injuries and everything.”
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The outfielder spent the entire year in San Jose where he had a tough time getting going, hitting .228 in 272 at-bats with 10 home runs.
That’s certainly not the type of production we’re used to seeing from Quinn, and I’m expecting a big bounce back in 2018.
“Hopefully this year I get off to a good start and stay healthy,” Quinn added.
With just under 500 at-bats in the minor leagues now, Quinn is beginning to get a feel for pro ball, and the things he needs to focus on in order to get to the next level.
“[I’m] Really just staying true to my approach at the plate, really just to have a plan against a pitcher and know what I’m trying to do getting in the box,” Quinn said when talking about what he hopes to improve on.
“As you move up guys are throwing harder and you have less time to make decisions. But I want to try and simplify that and just slow the game down a little. As I get older I think I’m really trying to do that.”
Quinn enters the 2018 season as the San Francisco Giants 12th best prospect according to MLB.com. As someone who has watched Quinn from his time in college, I think he shoots back up those rankings soon with a big 2018 season.
Next: Ranking San Francisco Giants Outfielders This Spring
I love watching this kid play and think he has a bright future in the big leagues. Thanks to Heath for taking some time to talk with us, and we wish him all the luck this season and going forward with the Giants.
You can follow Heath Quinn on Twitter @HeathQuinn9.