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Arizona Fall League Interviews: Roman Quinn

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Thu, October 16, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

RomanQuinn

Photo: Jay Floyd, Phillies Nation/Phoul Ballz

On Monday October 13, I had some time to kill after arriving in Scottsdale for business and wandered over to Scottsdale Stadium, just a block from my hotel, where the Arizona Fall League was taking place. As luck had it, the Scottsdale Scorpions were playing and I was able to get press credentials. I conducted a number of interviews with some of the Phillies’ players and coaches who were in attendance. Come back each day to see the latest interview!

The speedy Roman Quinn was the Phillies’ second round pick in 2011. The speedster stole 32 bases in 44 attempts in 2014, less than a year after rupturing his Achilles and is looking to continue to improve as he climbs the Phillies’ organizational ladder.

Ian Riccaboni, Phillies Nation: How is the Arizona Fall League treating you?

Roman Quinn: It’s been real good! I’ve been really looking forward to it. There’s good competition out here, especially pitching-wise. You get to face the highest level of pitching. It’s the highest level of pitching I’ve faced yet and I’m feeling pretty good.

IR: Any added expectations or pressure playing in the Arizona Fall League where you’re facing the top prospects?

RQ: There’s no added pressure to me. I’m just trying to get better to make up for lost time and get some at-bats.

IR: How is your Achilles doing? Your speed seemed to return (32 steals in 44 attempts in 2014) and you had good stolen base numbers. How’s that feeling for ya?

RQ: It’s feeling great, man! It’s back; it’s back to 100%! When I first started, when I first got back in May, it was kind of tight at first and my jumps were horrible. As the season progressed, it started loosening up a bit so I’m feeling pretty good.

IR: How comfortable are you in center field? You’ve been playing quite a bit of outfield and you’ve been playing outfield here in the AFL.

RQ: I’m very comfortable in the outfield right now. I feel like I’ve been getting good jumps and my arm really shows out there, too. Continue reading Arizona Fall League Interviews: Roman Quinn

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Arizona Fall League Interviews: Logan Moore

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Wed, October 15, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

On Monday October 13, I had some time to kill after arriving in Scottsdale for business and wandered over to Scottsdale Stadium, just a block from my hotel, where the Arizona Fall League was taking place. As luck had it, the Scottsdale Scorpions were playing and I was able to get press credentials. I conducted a number of interviews with some of the Phillies’ players and coaches who were in attendance. Come back each day to see the latest interview!

Logan Moore is a 24-year old catcher who spent time in Clearwater before being promoted to Reading. A ninth-round selection out of Northeastern Junior College in Colorado,  Moore is known for his defensive work behind the plate but has been steadily improving with his bat, reaching career highs in homers, RBI, and SLG% in 2014.

Ian Riccaboni, Phillies Nation: What’s it like being selected to play in the Arizona Fall League with some of the top prospects in baseball?

Logan Moore: It’s a dream come true to be getting to the next level, the next step career-wise. It’s pretty awesome being with everyone here. Everyone’s really good competition and it’s been a lot of fun so far and I’m real happy to be here.

IR, PN: Hitting-wise, you took a big step forward in 2014 (four homers in Reading after being promoted, career-high .358 slugging). What do you attribute that to? Does it change from level to level?

LM: I think, as you keep playing in the system, you learn things, what you need to do. You come to the field, compete, and work. Basically, knowing and having a routine is a big thing for me. I mean, you can always be better. I just stick to a plan and work through it, try to get better.

IR, PN: The Phillies have drafted a few catchers in recent years with high draft picks including yourself. Is there any pressure knowing that there are other talented players, like yourself, Cameron Rupp being someone in the Triple-A level down through Andrew Knapp and Gabriel Lino?

 

Continue reading Arizona Fall League Interviews: Logan Moore

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Arizona Fall League Interviews: Ryan O’Sullivan

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, October 14, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 0

Ryan O'SullivanOn Monday October 13, I had some time to kill after arriving in Scottsdale for business and wandered over to Scottsdale Stadium, just a block from my hotel, where the Arizona Fall League was taking place. As luck had it, the Scottsdale Scorpions were playing and I was able to get press credentials. I conducted a number of interviews with some of the Phillies’ players and coaches who were in attendance. Come back each day to see the latest interview!

Ryan O’Sullivan is a 24 year old pitcher who the Phillies received from the Dodgers in exchange for Joe Blanton in 2012. O’Sullivan was the Dodgers’ fourth-round pick in 2011 and spent all of last season with the Reading Fightins where he went 7-8 with a 3.91 ERA with improved BB/9 IP and K/BB ratios.

Ian Riccaboni, Phillies Nation: What’s it like playing in the Arizona Fall League with some of the top prospects in baseball?

Ryan O’Sullivan: It’s fun. It’s funny, you know, I was talking to some of the guys, when you’re going through the season as a starter, you worry about the one through four or one through five hitters and you see the seven, eight, nine guys and you think “Ok, I might be able to cruise through this part of the line-up” but here, (seven, eight, nine) is a one, two, three, four hitter somewhere else so you really have to concentrate on every pitch. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

IR: Now, for baseball fans and folks who write about baseball, the opposing hitters’ names are really familiar. As a pitcher, do you have any concept of the other hitters as top prospects?

ROS: I mean, you kind of know who people are. The players that are here, you’ve played against at some point, some of them you’ve played with on different teams and things like that. Everybody’s here because their organization likes what what they are doing and everybody here is a prospect in a way so you know who they are. Some people you don’t know but those are the guys you know as this league goes along. I think everybody here has the ability to play in the Big Leagues and that’s what this league is for.

IR: Ray Burris is here of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (pitching coach). How nice is that to be able to work with someone in the organization while you’re getting work in in the fall?

ROS: Oh, it’s great. He’s a great guy; he’s awesome. He knows a lot about pitching but it’s not all about pitching with him. He pitched for I don’t know how many years; he pitched for a long time! Not only that but he’s a good guy off the field, too. He’ll take time to talk with you, very approachable and it’s huge that he’s with the Phillies so that while we’re out here we can showcase to him, especially because he’s the Triple-A guy and he’s been in the Big Leagues we can showcase our talent a bit. Hopefully, we can get to know him so that when the team needs to make a decision, he’s knows who we are.

IR: Logan Moore is here, your catcher. Do you have any special connection with Logan because he’s in the system or is the same as maybe working with a catcher from another system where you have to walk through your repertoire and your out pitch?

ROS: No, him and I definitely have a very close relationship. We were together this past season and the season before so there’s definitely a connection there. The other catchers here definitely have to learn what kind of stuff you have and what your tendencies on the mound are and stuff like that but when he’s catching me, it’s kind of like we’re back in season so we just get in the groove and go with it. He knows what I pitch and what I like to throw so it clicks a little faster.

The other catchers here are great, too. It doesn’t take long for a catcher to get to know his pitchers and we’re lucky to have the catchers we have.

IR: What’s the one thing you’re really focused on working on here in Arizona?

ROS: Here? Pound the strike zone. I’m a sinker ball pitcher and it’s not going deep into counts, just trying to get balls put in play early, throwing a lot of strikes, pounding the strike zone, being aggressive. I mean, stats count here a little bit but it’s not all based on that. It’s based on trying to get better with what you’re doing, get better at your craft, and get seen by some people.

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Quinn’s Speed Propels Scottsdale to AFL Win

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, October 14, 2014 12:53 AM Comments: 0

Center Fielder Roman Quinn

In front of a crowd with as many scouts as fans, speedster Roman Quinn led off, played center field, and went 1 for 4 with a stolen base en route to a 2-1 win for the Scottsdale Scorpions at Scottsdale Stadium.

Before the game, I talked to Quinn, who stated that his Achilles is “100%” and that he was looking forward to facing the best competition he has ever faced. Quinn had two at-bats from each side of the plate, helping him address his main goal of the AFL: becoming a switch hitter.

Quinn’s lone hit came in his second at-bat from the right side, a dribbler about five feet up the third base line, the first hit for the Scorpions. Quinn would get an amazing break on two straight pitches, one a foul ball, the second a walk for the Scorpions. Quinn would misread a flyball to center from second base but was able to tag anyways and easily beat out a throw from center. Quinn scored easily on passed ball to put Scottsdale up 1-0.

Quinn looked solid in the field, taking a great route to a sixth inning ball hit to the left center field gap, cutting what should have been a sure triple and keeping it to a double. Quinn took a solid route to a fly ball and fielded another can of corn. Quinn’s speed was on full display in the bottom of the seventh with Quinn stealing second easily with a good jump and a bad throw.

Quinn wasn’t the only Phillie to get in on the action. Colton Murray, a 2011 13th rounder out of the University of Kansas, got out of a jam created by Tyler Mizenko in the bottom of the eighth inning, retiring the only hitter he faced, earning a hold and preserving the Scorpions 2-1 lead.

Phillies pitcher Adam Morgan is scheduled to pitch Wednesday night for Scottsdale. Please check back tomorrow for the first of our five exclusive Arizona Fall League interviews.

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Off-season Leagues Underway in Arizona and Venezuela

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, October 12, 2014 09:00 AM Comments: 0

The big league postseason is still in full swing, but many Phillies prospects have begun to get extra playing time in off-season leagues. As the weeks roll on, more players will debut as more leagues get going.

Throughout the fall and winter months we’ll be providing updates and reviews of how those players and others are performing around the globe. Read ahead for all the latest from the Arizona Fall League, the Venezuelan Winter League and beyond.

Playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL…

RomanQuinn

Roman Quinn, image- Jay Floyd

OF Roman Quinn is 2-for-15 (.133 avg) with three runs, three walks and three stolen bases in four games.  The switch-hitting Quinn was the Phils’ second round draft selection in 2011.  The 21-year-old bounced back from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon this year, posting a .257/.343/.370 line in 88 games for Class A Advanced Clearwater.

Catcher Logan Moore is 1-for-6 (.167 avg) in two games thus far.  The 24-year-old was a ninth round draft choice by the Phillies in 2011.

Lefty hurler Adam Morgan returned to official action after missing the entire 2014 regular season following shoulder surgery.  In one appearance, Morgan threw a scoreless frame, striking out one while allowing no hits or walks.  The 24-year-old was the Phillies’ third round draft pick in 2011.

Right-hander Colton Murray has pitched four innings, allowing two earned runs while striking out four and walking one.  Murray, a University of Kansas product, was selected by the Phils in the 13th round of the 2011 draft.  The 24-year-old posted a 2.23 ERA and a 9.04 K/9 mark in 47 combined games between Clearwater and Double A Reading this season. Continue reading Off-season Leagues Underway in Arizona and Venezuela

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Quinn excited for Arizona Fall League assignment

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, October 07, 2014 08:00 AM Comments: 8

RomanQuinn-TugHaines

Roman Quinn, image- Tug Haines

Less than a year removed from suffering a significant injury, Roman Quinn is fresh off a solid half season in the minors and is set to see action as the Phillies’ premiere name in the Arizona Fall League.

Originally forecast to miss the majority of the 2014 season, Quinn was back on the field by mid-May and impressed many with the strides that he took to improve his offensive game.

Playing in 88 contests, the most he’s played in any of his three pro seasons, for the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Quinn returned from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon that he suffered last off-season to post a .257 batting average along with seven home runs, 36 RBI and 32 stolen bases.

Selected in the second round of the 2011 amateur draft, Quinn, who was mainly an outfielder in high school, was switched to shortstop by the Phillies after signing his first professional contract.  The quick rise of top 2013 draft choice  J.P. Crawford, a natural shortstop, did away with the need for Quinn to continue manning an infield spot.  He was repositioned back to center field, a change that boosted his comfort level on the field.

“It was good news to me, because outfield had been my primary position.  It’s like being at home and it felt real good to go back out there.  It just took a lot of pressure off me and I can go out there and relax rather than worrying about so much,” Quinn explained during a phone interview this week. Continue reading Quinn excited for Arizona Fall League assignment

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PN Interview: 3rd round draft pick Aaron Brown

Posted by Jay Floyd, Mon, September 29, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 2

AaronBrownMiLB

Aaron Brown, image- MiLB.com

Prior to being selected as the Phillies’ 3rd round draft pick this year, Aaron Brown was a dominant college pitcher. In 17 starts for Pepperdine in 2014, he posted a 13-1 record along with a 1.95 ERA. Brown’s efforts at the plate were just as impressive, as he sported a .314 average with 13 homers, 49 RBI and a .908 OPS.

Citing his power and bat speed, the Phils see Brown’s highest ceiling as an offensive player. After playing roughly two months with short-season Class A Williamsport, Brown was promoted to full season A level Lakewood to close out the season with a couple weeks remaining on the schedule. Lakewood manager Greg Legg, a baseball lifer, praised Brown’s intensity and asserted that three of the hardest hits balls he saw all season were off the bat of Brown during the short time he was with the club.

In 61 games in the minors, after making his pro debut, Brown tallied a .268 average while slugging four home runs and driving in 21 runs.

Earlier this month, prior to the end of the minor league season, I spoke with Brown, who sees his own future as an outfielder, about his draft experience, how college prepared him for the pro ranks and plenty more. Read ahead for the full interview.

-What was your draft experience like this year?

It was a great experience. Just getting picked by the Phillies in the third round was pretty awesome. And then, you know, I just wanted to come out here and started learning, kind of developing as a person and as a player and so far, that’s been the experience. So, it’s been a lot of fun learning from the guys, playing with these guys as well and it’s just been a great time so far.

-Were the Phillies among teams you expected could pick you or were they a surprise?

Yeah, they were definitely on the radar. And through my advisers, I had heard a couple things from the Phillies early on and they were always one of the teams that I knew were pretty interested in me and it turned out they called my name and it worked out pretty well.

-How did you celebrate when you got the news you were selected?

Well, for me, it was practicing at TCU before super regionals. And it was a lot of fun. I heard the news, was feeling really excited for the opportunity and just went out there and spent the rest of the day with my teammates and coaches and enjoyed that last part of the college career. Continue reading PN Interview: 3rd round draft pick Aaron Brown

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LHP Loewen is a candidate for Phils rotation next season

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, September 20, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 18

Adam Loewen, image- Jay Floyd

With a considerable level of anticipation that the Phillies will experience some turnover with their pitching staff leading to next season, it feels as though fans and media alike have begun to say goodbye to certain hurlers. Who replaces those arms promises to be the focus of the team’s offseason.

A candidate to fill a void in the Phillies’ rotation next is former big leaguer Adam Loewen, who the Phillies acquired earlier this season as a free agent.

Loewen, a left-hander, has been to the majors twice.  His initial ascension to the big leagues was as a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles after he was selected as the fourth overall draft pick in 2002, two places before Zack Greinke and three spots prior to Prince Fielder.

He last pitched in the majors in 2008 as a 24-year-old.  After suffering a stress fracture in his throwing elbow, having a four-and-a-half inch long titanium screw surgically inserted into the joint and dealing with lasting complications from the ailment, it became apparent, at the time, that Loewen’s pitching career was finished.

The British Columbia native would spend that following off-season working on his offense and showed enough to the Toronto Blue Jays that they offered him a contract to begin a new path to the big leagues, as a position player.

As an outfielder, Loewen again reached the top level of the sport, playing in 14 games with the Blue Jays in 2011, batting .188 with a home run and four RBI.  After a couple more years in the minors trying to climb the developmental ladder with in the Mets’ and Blue Jays’ systems, he was told his time was up as a hitter.  Last winter, however, Loewen got the itch to pitch and his career was reborn once again.

“I wanted to continue at the time, but the decision was made for me,” Loewen stated.  “But, I’m not bitter about it anymore.  I love pitching and maybe it’ll work out for the better.” Continue reading LHP Loewen is a candidate for Phils rotation next season

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Ailing Watson suspended 50 games for drug violation

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, September 20, 2014 07:30 AM Comments: 0

ShaneWatson

Shane Watson, image- Jay Floyd

On Friday, it was announced that injured Phillies pitching prospect Shane Watson would miss the opening 50 games of the 2015 season, after being served with a suspension as a result of testing positive for a banned substance.

Reports stated that the illegal substance was not a performance enhancer, but instead was a drug of abuse.

The 21-year-old right-hander, who recently announced his engagement to be married via his Twitter account, missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing shoulder surgery to repair an enlarged capsule last winter.  Watson rehabbed this summer, but experienced a setback which was going to keep him out of action till next spring.

Watson’s injured status will not impact his suspension.  In fact, the required time off could force the young hurler to proceed at a much slower pace and could be good for his physical health in the long run.

Watson was chosen with the 40th overall pick by the Phillies in 2012.  He sports a 4-7 record with a 4.44 ERA and a .227 batting average against in 21 professional games.

Prior to the 2014 season, Watson was ranked as the Phils’ number 14 prospects by PhilliesNation.com.

Update: Watson responded to a request for comment via text message late Saturday morning.  He did not wish to comment on the circumstances surrounding his suspension, but offered the following thoughts on his rehab process, which he is conducting under the Phillies’ supervision in Florida:

“Nothing but good news (regarding my throwing shoulder) right now.  I just have to remember there’s no rush back and to take my time, but also push myself to the limit while giving myself enough rest.”

The California native has been throwing from flat ground and is up to a distance of 75 feet, doing so every other day without discomfort.

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Crawford, Garcia Named Paul Owens Award Winners

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, September 10, 2014 03:25 PM Comments: 0

The Paul Owens award is bestowed upon the best of the best in the Phillies organization. It was a rough year for all levels, yet a few names stood out.

J.P. Crawford, named by several publications to be the Phillies new top prospect, won the award for best position player. He becomes the youngest to do so since an 18-year-old Jimmy Rollins won in 1997.

Crawford, 19, hit .285 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 48 RBI, 69 runs scored and 24 stolen bases in 123 games this season with low-A Lakewood and single-A Clearwater. Crawford is one of the youngest players in the Florida State League.

Luis Garcia is a bit of a surprise, winning the award for best minor league pitcher at age 27. The righty went 2-1 with a 0.96 ERA in 39 games for triple-A Lehigh Valley.  He converted 22 of his 25 save opportunities and tied for the International League lead in saves.

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