San Francisco Giants: Heath Quinn Looks Poised for a Strong AFL Season
By Jeff Young
The Arizona Fall League is just beginning. The San Francisco Giants sent a number of prospects to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions including Heath Quinn.
The San Francisco Giants, like most teams, tend to send players who missed time due to injury or other circumstances. Quinn had a relatively healthy season in 2018. However, several injuries derailed his 2017 season.
Quinn was 3rd round pick out of Samford University in 2016. He certainly hit the ground running in his 1st taste of professional baseball. In 2016, he batted .344 with a .998 OPS across 3 levels. However, drawing any conclusions about a player’s ability in the lower levels is very difficult.
Despite this, Quinn had expectations for continued success heading into 2017. That did not come to fruition. He could never find his groove during his injury-riddled season with San Jose.
Quinn finished the year with a .661 OPS. These were disappointing results after finishing the 2016 season on such as strong note.
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As a result, Quinn returned to San Jose for a second trip in 2018. This time, he did not disappoint. He still battled a minor hamstring injury, but this one did not affect his performance like in 2017.
Quinn batted .300 and posted a .861 OPS with San Jose. Additionally, he recorded 10.3% walk rate. So, unlike some Giants prospects, Quinn is not allergic to taking a walk.
Now, Quinn is set to debut in he Arizona Fall League. Teams usually send some of their better prospects to the AFL. Quinn fits the mold as one of the better prospects in the Giants system.
Since Quinn missed substantial time in 2017, it does make sense to challenge him with the AFL assignment. This will allow him to gain valuable experience and repetitions that he missed in 2017.
Quinn will be facing more advanced pitching than he faced in San Jose. Quinn had a 26% strikeout rate this season, so there is some swing-and-miss to his game. It’s likely this rate spikes while facing the advanced pitching from the AFL.
However, even if he struggles, this can still be a positive development. He will get to face advanced pitching, and then get an entire offseason to make adjustments.
Then, he will start next season in Richmond with some good experience under his belt. The hope is that this is the year Quinn takes the next step in his development.
He has high draft pick pedigree. He has proven he can hit, and hit for power at the lower levels. Hopefully, his AFL assignment is the next step in his development as he inches closer to San Francisco.