Reports: Phillies Prospect Roman Candle Quinn Has Ruptured His Achilles

Roman Candle Quinn in his Williamsport regalia, August 2012 - Wet Luzinski

The young man destined to bring speedy fire to the mortally slow Phillies baserunners has been brought low by another Greek fable.

Rumors that Phillies shortstop prospect Roman "Candle" Quinn had injured himself while running were confirmed today, as per Phillies beat writer Dennis Deitch (among others) reported that he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Quinn, 20, was recently rated by Baseball America as the Phillies' fifth-best prospect. In his two short professional seasons, Quinn has stolen 62 bases in 133 games. The major reason Quinn "fell" to fifth (last year he was second) was that his season at Lakewood was cut short after his wrist was broken on June 24 by a pitched ball by some loser. Here was my report on Twitter when it happened.

His first professional season in Williamsport was nothing short of incendiary. In 309 plate appearances, Quinn performed at a .281/.370/.408 level, and led the New York-Penn League in triples (11) and stolen bases (30). Generously listed at 5'10" and 170 lbs., Quinn packs a lot of offense into a very small body.

And oh yeah, I absolutely fell in love with Quinn when I saw him play two games in Williamsport.  To see an intensely disruptive presence step into the batter's box is tremendously entertaining. Fielders visibly tense. He has a good measure of plate discipline and gap power, so to see the ball split outfielders is genuine chaos on a baseball field. Furthermore, by the time the ball hits the ground he is quite literally halfway between first and second. Don't just take my word for it. Behold:

Phillies prospect Roman Quinn inside-the-park HR (via mazilnews)

Contrasting that with the slumparific horror that was the end of 2012 (and all of 2013) it was hard not to root for Quinn to rocket through the system. He started slowly at Lakewood in April, had a torrid May, and was slumping through June before he was hit by a pitch.

He's not perfect, and his fielding is, to put it generously, a work in progress pretty bad. But if you consider that he never played shortstop in high school, you can give him a bit of an asterisk there. Additionally, now that the Phillies added J.P. Crawford you can slot Quinn into the outfield of the future. Well, maybe that future is another year out., as we have paid close attention to the damage ruptured Achilles' tendons do. Unlike Ryan Howard's injury, however, Quinn's ruptured Achilles is sadly the knife at the very throat of his major talent.

This is bad. We can only hope that Quinn's younger age will aid him in shortening his recovery time, but prognoses for these types of injuries are a solid year, if not more, of recovery to full speed. What a crummy 2013 for this young man.

Prospect-wise, this metaphorically cripples the Phillies in many ways, first and foremost Quinn's potential value as offseason trade bait.

This is way, way worse than when Harold "Bello" Garcia went down, guys. If anyone needs me, I'll be curled up inside a bottle of whiskey.

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