NWL notes: Quinn quickly adapting to pros

Giants No. 19 prospect impressing with consistency for Salem-Keizer

Heath Quinn is slashing .337/.423/.571 in 54 games with Salem-Keizer this season. (Jared Ravich/MiLB.com)

By Brandon Chinn / Special to MiLB.com | September 1, 2016 9:37 PM

As is the case with most professional athletes, Salem-Keizer outfielder Heath Quinn has gone through a lot of changes in his first professional season.

Including his 61 games at Samford University this past year, the 21-year-old outfielder has played for three different teams in three vastly different locations, all within a span of the past three months.

But through all of these changes, at least one thing has remained the same. Wherever Quinn has played, he's made an impact at the plate.

"It has definitely been a long season coming from college ball, but I've had a blast so far," Quinn said.

Looking at his stat line, it's no wonder Quinn has enjoyed his time so much on the West Coast. Through the month of August, the third-round pick boasted a .337 batting average to go along with nine homers and 34 runs batted in. His team-high 19 doubles have contributed to his Northwest League-leading .571 slugging percentage.

"I didn't really have any expectations coming into professional baseball," Quinn said. "I just try to work hard and make myself better every day."

That mind-set has worked out exceptionally well for the Alabama native. Through Wednesday, Quinn ranked second in the NWL in homers (nine), doubles and batting average. Perhaps his most impressive feat has been his consistency at the plate.

Quinn has tallied up 18 multi-hit games, half of which have consisted of at least three hits per game. Even more astounding is the fact that he had gone hitless in consecutive games one time -- a three-game stretch from Aug. 6-9 -- in 54 contests with the Volcanoes this season.

"Baseball is a hard game, and you're going to have ups and downs," Quinn said. "I just want to try and not get too high or too low during the season. All you can do is just keep working regardless of the results."

There have been more ups than downs this season for the Giants' No. 19 prospect, particularly in the last week of July. Quinn went 9-for-27 (.333) with two homers, five RBIs and a league-high five extra-base hits from July 25-31 to earn Northwest League Player of the Week honors.

"I was grateful to earn the award, but it's something you really can't think about too much because you still have more games to play," Quinn said. "I'm just really trying to focus on getting better each day. I want to take it one day at a time."

Another thing Quinn hasn't concerned himself with is hitting homers; that's just coming naturally. After launching five homers in his first 43 games, he has hit four dingers in his past 11 contests.

"I never go up to the plate trying to hit home runs," Quinn said. "I just try and focus on having a good approach and trying to help the team win."

The Volcanoes haven't won a ton this season -- they entered Wednesday 14-19 in the second half of the season and were 31-40 overall -- but it's not due to Quinn's efforts.

And despite Salem-Keizer's sub-.500 record, it's safe to say it has still been an all-around winning season for the promising young prospect.

"I think the biggest thing for me is just the opportunity to be out here," Quinn said. "I didn't know what to expect coming to pro ball. It has been fun getting to meet different people and see different places on the West Coast. It has been a wonderful experience."

In brief

Morozowski muscling up: Entering Thursday, Hillsboro outfielder Jason Morozowski was tied for third in the Northwest League with eight homers, mostly in part to a monstrous past couple of weeks. The 22-year-old outfielder homered in four consecutive games from Aug. 16-19, and also connected on a long ball Wednesday at Spokane to give him five homers in the past 13 games. Morozowski, who joined Hillsboro on June 28 after spending time at Class A Kane County and Rookie-level Missoula, had three homers in 21 games with the Hops before his monster stretch.

Rondon on the radar: Eugene pitcher Manuel Rondon has thrown up plenty of zeroes over his past five starts. During that stretch, Rondon has allowed one run in 24 2/3 innings. Rondon has fanned 23 hitters over those outings, including two starts with a season-high seven strikeouts apiece. Rondon is 6-1 with a NWL-best 1.10 earned run ERA in 57 1/3 innings.

Brandon Chinn is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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