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Giants' Quinn making up for lost time in AFL

October 18, 2018

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Giants have a track record of drafting players that performed well in college and getting them through the system and up to San Francisco.Buster Posey (1st-round, 2008), Brandon Crawford (4th-round, 2008), Brandon Belt (5th-round, 2009), Joe Panik (1st-round, 2011), Chris Shaw (1st-round, 2015) and Steven Duggar

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - The Giants have a track record of drafting players that performed well in college and getting them through the system and up to San Francisco.
Buster Posey (1st-round, 2008), Brandon Crawford (4th-round, 2008), Brandon Belt (5th-round, 2009), Joe Panik (1st-round, 2011), Chris Shaw (1st-round, 2015) and Steven Duggar (6th-round, 2015) all fit that mold. Could Heath Quinn (3rd-round, 2016) be next?
"Seeing their success gives me hope that one day I can be up there with them," Quinn, the Giants No. 10 prospect, said. "I've just got to keep trying to get better and work my way up. I've just got to keep focusing on the little things and try to get better each year."
Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams
However, if Quinn is going to hop on the fast track to San Francisco, he's going to need to stay healthy. The outfielder played in just 75 games in 2017 when he was hampered by shoulder and hamate injuries, then missed a month in 2018 with a hamstring strain.
In addition to the injuries, Quinn struggled on the field in 2017, his full-season debut, but appeared to get back on track this year. After hitting .228 a season ago, Quinn hit .300/.376/.485 with 14 homers and 51 RBIs over 96 games with Class A Advanced San Jose.
The 23-year-old also showed a better offensive approach and the results were evident. After posting a 29.5 percent strikeout rate and 6.8 percent walk rate in 2017, Quinn lowered his strikeout rate to 24.1 percent in 2018 and upped his walk rate to 10.3 percent.
"I just went back to doing stuff how I was doing in college," Quinn said. "I went back to an old hitting coach, just trying to get back to the basics, the fundamentals and that helped out a ton."
Giants hitters in the Fall League
C.J. Hinojosa, SS (SF No. 28) -- The 2015 11th-round pick played in just 74 games this season as he recovered from rupturing his Achilles tendon last September and was also hit with a 50-game suspension following a second positive test for drug of abuse. Hinojosa spent the bulk of the season in Double-A where he hit .265 in 67 games. The 24-year-old has a quick bat and makes a lot of contact, but he won't hit a ton of homers. Defensively, he came up as a shortstop but doesn't have the quickness to play there regularly in the Majors. The Giants have begun moving him around the diamond, and he's logged innings at both second and third base in each of the past two seasons.
Matt Winn, C -- Matt Winn showed some power in 2018 as he had career-highs in both doubles (21) and homers (10). However, the bulk of those hits came in the extremely hitter-friendly California League, where Winn spent 74 games with Class A Advanced San Jose. The catcher, a 14th-rounder from the 2015 Draft was bumped up to Double-A Richmond in August, where he appeared in 19 games. Across both levels, in 93 games, Winn hit .236/.308/.421 this year.
Giants pitchers in the Fall League
Melvin Adon, RHP (SF No. 19) -- The 24-year-old right-hander has had a bit of a slow development and just reached Class A Advanced San Jose this season. While Adon is raw and still learning to be a pitcher, rather than just a thrower, his stuff is undeniable. He has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and can reach triple digits. He also features an upper-80s slider and a changeup. Adon has pitched out of the rotation in the Minors, but his future likely lies in the bullpen.
Garrett Williams, LHP (SF No. 20) -- A seventh-round Draft pick (2016), Williams spent the 2018 season with Double-A Richmond, where he worked out of both the rotation and the bullpen. The lefty went 3-9 with a 6.06 ERA in 33 appearances (15 starts). Williams has quality stuff -- a fastball that operates in the low-to-mid 90s and an above average curveball - but has struggled with command throughout his career. In his Double-A debut this season, he issued 61 walks and 73 strikeouts. If Williams is able to develop better command, he may be able to work as a starter, otherwise he'll likely wind up as a reliever.
Chase Johnson, RHP -- After missing nearly all of 2017 because of Tommy John surgery, Johnson returned to the mound in 2018 and posted a 3.86 ERA through 18 starts with Double-A Richmond. However, Johnson missed roughly two weeks with a concussion and after pitching just 10 1/3 innings in 2017, he has some ground to make up. The 26-year-old was picked in the third-round back in 2013, but after reaching Double-A in 2015, injuries have hampered his development.
Sam Wolff, RHP -- Wolff, whom the Giants acquired in the December 2017 Matt Moore trade, is using the AFL to make up for lost time. The hard-throwing right-hander didn't make his season debut until late June as he was recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his right hand. Wolff features a mid-to-upper 90s fastball and can rack up the strikeouts -- he fanned 44 over 31 1/3 innings this season - but he also walked 17, which likely contributed to his 6.03 ERA over 25 appearances.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.