The Royals have signed outfielder Roman Quinn to a minor league contract, according to the Omaha Storm Chasers. The 29-year-old is a six-year Major League veteran, all with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The switch-hitter was originally a second-round pick in 2011 by Philadelphia out of high school in Florida. By 2013 he was ranked the #100 prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He broke into the big leagues in 2016, but his bat never developed enough for him to be a regular. Instead, the Phillies used his plus speed in a reserve role, and he .223/.300/.343 with 8 home runs and 43 steals in 552 career plate appearances. He was designate for assignment by the Phillies last year and signed a minor league deal with the Marlins. But he did not make the roster there and returned to the Phillies, hitting .162/.225/.189 with four steals in 40 plate appearances with the big league club this year before they designated him for assignment last week.
Quinn brings elite speed and defense, something the Royals often covet. His sprint speed is in the 97th percentile, according to Baseball Savant. Since 2016, the only player with at least 500 plate appearances with a better speed score than Quinn is Adalberto Mondesi. Statcast also shows him being +7 Outs Above Average in his career.
Quinn will join Brewer Hicklen, Dairon Blanco, and Jacoby Jones in the outfield for the Omaha Storm Chasers, giving them some the speed worthy of a track and field team.