People will say Roman Quinn is an unlikely candidate to make the Cleveland Guardians 26-man roster, but the truth is, Quinn has never played more than 50 games, never had more than 131 at bats in a season (back in 2018 with the Phillies). So, the verdict is still out on what his ceiling is as a player, especially if his early Spring Training power surge is indicative of his approach at the plate going forward.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder from Port St. Joe, Florida, is somewhat unimposing, but you can no longer call him “light-hitting” as esteemed baseball writer and longtime Tampa Rays reporter Marc Topkin did back in November after Quinn cleared outright waivers to become a free agent.
He’s making the most of his non-roster invitee opportunity after signing a minor league deal in January with three homers, three runs scored and six RBI in 11 at-bats so far this Spring. The homer total ties him with five other players for the league lead through the first week or so of games. One of those players is MLBbro bomber Jordan Walker, who has dazzled in his first games of Cactus League play.
Quinn laid waste to pitchers in a 12-4 win over the Cubs, going 2-for-3 with a pair of homers and five RBI. Quinn will have to keep mashing and playing a stellar outfield because he has some stiff competition, including young sensation Will Brennen who is already a fan favorite from last season’s late call up.
"Like I said … We hungry."
Roman Quinn has 3 homers in 5 at bats this spring. 👀#CLESpring pic.twitter.com/sCUnrfV4lw
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) February 27, 2023
His early production hasn’t gone unnoticed by manager Terry Francona.
“Obviously, he feels good about himself,” Tito said. “And he’s taking some really good swings.”
Injuries Have Hampered Talented MLBbro
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft, Quinn broke into the league in 2016 and was a utility player for six years on a train up and down from the show to the minors. He landed with Tampa Bay during the 2022 season. A knee bruise hindered his progress there, but now he’s leaving quite the impression on a Guardians team that can use another multi-dimensional baller with a hunger for success and sticking and staying at the MLB level.
Quinn played in just 44 games between the Phillies and Rays in 2022 and posted a .215/.287/.304 slash line in 87 plate appearances, with 15 runs scored and four stolen bases. In addition to the knee injury in 2022, he had a nasty Achilles rupture in 2021.
Torreyes ties it up 2-2 for the Phils, but Roman Quinn comes up limp on his way to home plate: pic.twitter.com/hc4OyM3stP
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 29, 2021
Quinn’s also had a torn quad, a torn ligament in his middle finger, a finger contusion, a strained ligament in his elbow, an oblique strain, a groin strain, a broken toe, and a concussion. Now fully healthy, he can show what kind of asset he can be for a team.
Quinn probably won’t be an everyday starter for a team with playoff aspirations, but he’s definitely an intriguing bench piece. Quinn’s game is predicated on his speed and elite athleticism, having stolen double-digit bases twice in his career. This Bro can also go get it in the outfield. With just eight career homers, some might consider Quinn’s recent explosion a fluke. But like they say, for some players the power comes later. At 29 years old, Quinn is in tune with his body and capabilities – and what will make him an asset to an MLB club.