With the 95th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the San Francisco Giants selected Heath Quinn.
Soon thereafter, 21-year-old Quinn became a catalyst for the Giants’ short-season A-ball club, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.
Selected from Samford, Quinn was the second highest draft pick from his university (Philip Ervin was drafted in 2013 27th overall).
In his final season as a Bulldog, Quinn excelled at the plate. He ranked second in the nation in home runs (21) and RBI (77), according to Samford’s athletics page. The 77 RBI is currently the school single-season record as well.
In addition to multiple Southern Conference Player of the Week/Month honors, Quinn was named to the SOCON All-Conference team as well as All-Tournament Team in 2016. Quinn also received major national recognition when he was announced Second-Team All-America by Baseball America.
Since making the jump to professional baseball, Quinn has continued his success.
Quinn, the Giants' #19 prospect, played just two games in the Arizona Fall League before heading to the northwest. And on Sept. 1, Quinn received a call-up to the Giants’ High-A team in San Jose.
In 54 games with the Volcanoes prior to his most recent advance, Quinn was near the top of many statistical offensive categories in the Northwest League.
As of Sept. 1, Quinn had a .337 batting average, which was good for second in the NWL and was the leader in slugging percentage. His .571 slugging percentage was almost .100 higher than the NWL’s second place, Eric Filia, who has a .494 slug.
Quinn was second in the league in doubles with 19, but had played in 10 fewer games than the leader, Jacob Bosiokovic, who has just one more.
In 11 games fewer than Filia, Quinn is tied for total bases at 117.
Quinn has shown that with more time, he’ll continue to progress. In his past 10 games, Quinn is batting .361 for Salem-Keizer, according to the team’s website.
Quinn’s development has not only been shown by his ability to get hits, either.
In 31 games from June 24, when Quinn debuted with Salem-Keizer, through the end of July, Quinn walked 12 times (in 118 at bats). In August, Quinn walked 14 times (87 at bats) total in just 23 games.
With a .991 fielding percentage and seven putouts on the year, Quinn has also shown he can be a legitimate presence in right field.
Giants Farm: How long have you been playing baseball, what got you into it and why did you stick with it?
Heath Quinn: I have been playing baseball ever since I could remember. I grew up playing multiple sports, but I ended up playing baseball because it was the one I liked the most.
GF: What are some role models on and off the field you look up to that you feel influence the way you play the game?
I think my dad is a role model for me because he has encouraged and supported me ever sense I have played the game. My family and girlfriend have both been very supportive as well.
In 2013 you chose to play for Samford rather than sign with the Indians, what was some of that reasoning? And obviously your draft stock rose during your college time, but what was something you took away from playing at Samford that you may have missed if you had signed with Cleveland?
I was blessed with the opportunity to get drafted out of high school with the Cleveland Indians. I decided to go to Samford because I did not think I was ready to play professionally yet and I knew I needed to develop more. I chose Samford because I loved the coaching staff and I had seen the recent success of the program. Also, they had 7 guys drafted from the 2012 team, so I knew that Coach Dunn was a great coach and that he could help me with my development on and off the field.
You came into the short season with Salem-Keizer and almost immediately you were batting .300, but recently you've been even hotter, what would you say has attributed to your success so far?
I came into the season with Salem Keizer just trying to relax and have fun. I know that this game is very hard so I just try and have fun and work hard at it. [I’ve] been blessed with some awesome teammates so it helps out to have guys around that you enjoy playing with.
In August you earned your first award as a member of the Volcanoes, being named NWL Player of the week, tell me about that? I'm sure in your career you've earned plenty of awards, was your first professional award any better?
It was an honor being presented with that award. With that being said, I didn't really think much about it because I am focused on the season.
You didn't make the all-star team this year, but since the break you've probably been one of the hottest players in the league, is there any part of you that wants to prove you're an all-star in any level or is it too early to think that way?
I think it would be cool to be named all-star, but at the same time you can't think about that. You just have to take it one game at a time.
What has the first year in short season been like? You're leading the NWL in slugging, tied for batting, did you have any sort of expectations and how did they differ or how were they met?
I didn't know what to expect coming to the NWL. I just wanted to focus on trying to get better every day and have fun. It's a grind because you play every day but it's been a fun experience so far.
What are some things you like to do in your down time, as little as that may be?
I like to watch Netflix when I can. Also, if we have an off day I like to play some golf.
What are some goals you've set for yourself, whether it be in the near future or years from now?
I think the big one for all minor leaguers is to make the big league team. That would definitely be a dream come true.
What's it like being a part of a franchise system who boasts three of the past six world series titles, is
there a certain vibe that you feel playing for as a prospect for the Giants?
I was fortunate to be drafted by such a great organization. As you said, the Giants have had a lot of success. You can definitely feel a vibe where the organization wants to win and wants to be successful.
With the season wrapping up in a few weeks, what are some key areas you'll be focusing on once it's over?
As the season starts to wrap up I just want to try and get better and improve in all areas of the game.