CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Roman Quinn is one of the fleetest of foot in all of minor league baseball.
It should come as no surprise that even his recovery was fast.
In October, Quinn was running sprints during off-season workouts when he suffered a ruptured Achilles. It was an injury which had the potential to sideline him for the entirety of the 2014 season.
Just seven months later, the 21-year old Quinn is back to full strength, and batting leadoff for the Clearwater Threshers.
In early May, Quinn was cleared to resume taking live at-bats and running the bases. While most estimates put his return date in June or July, Quinn was activated from the disabled list on May 19.
He concedes that, when injured, discouragement and laziness are easy traps to fall into. Quinn, however, believes that maintaining a healthy mindset was perhaps the most important element to his quick return.
"Staying positive through this whole thing, and my whole six months that I was out, that played a big key," he says.
"Most people (with similar injuries) come in and they get down on themselves, and they don't work like the way they're supposed to work. You know, they come in and they don't really give it their all every day.
"I stayed positive through it all, and I gave it my all every day because I knew I had a goal to get back faster than everyone expected me to get back. And I'm here now."
With multiple three-hit performances in early June, Quinn has debuted in Clearwater with a .250 average through his first 17 games with the Threshers. On June 8 against the Daytona Cubs, he pulled a home run over the wall in right-center, notching his first round-tripper at the High-A level.
Despite the Achilles injury, which occurred after Quinn had already missed the final two months of the 2013 season after suffering a broken wrist, the Port St. Joe, Fla. native is highly-touted for his raw tools.
Entering 2014, Quinn was rated by Baseball America as the No. 10 prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies' system, and their No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com. A multi-sport athlete in high school, who was also recruited by colleges for his football and basketball prowess, Quinn was selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2011 draft out of Port St. Joe High School.
When healthy, Quinn has had to work hard constantly to transform his game since the day he turned pro.
Currently, Quinn is a switch-hitting shortstop for the Threshers. In high school, he was neither.
"I batted right-handed every year, every at-bat in high school," Quinn says. "I started switch-hitting the day I got here, and that was pretty tough. It was hard on me.
"It was very frustrating at first, especially trying to figure out another swing on a completely different side. It felt like I had to start all over again."
Now in his third professional season, Quinn is confident in his abilities from both sides of the dish.
"I'm at a point where I'm comfortable from either side, left or right, but sometimes I do tend to pay attention to my left side more than my right side. I put more work in my left side because I know that's my weaker side.
"The toughest thing is just to balance those two out, so that's what I'm working on right now."
He was also primarily a center fielder in his high school days, but has learned to adapt to the shortstop position over the past three seasons. Each year, he has made noticeable strides defensively.
On the opposite end of the ball, Quinn's approach centers on utilizing that blazing speed.
"Every time I step to the plate, I'm definitely looking to see where the third baseman and first baseman are playing," he says. "Bunting is always in the back of my mind at all times, any count."
When the situation does not call for a bunt attempt, Quinn is generally an opposite-field hitter - particularly when batting left-handed.
"I know if the shortstop had to go to his right and back-hand the ball that I'm gonna beat it out," he says, "So I just focus on staying the other way."
While Quinn works to progress through the Phillies farm system, his primary goal now is just to remain healthy and in the lineup.
"I just want to play," Quinn says. "I just want to get back to playing every day, and get more at-bats in. That's the big thing, because each year I play like half a season."
"I just want to get back into the groove of things, and see how it goes."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.