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O.C. baseball pitcher of the year: JSerra's Collin Quinn
Collin Quinn was not a high school pitcher who drew a lot of college and pro scouts to his games.
Quinn did not have that noisy 94 mph fastball they crave. He did a couple of other things well, though.
He threw strikes and got batters out.
The senior right-hander did so with such efficiency, and against the best competition Southern California offers, that he is the Register’s Orange County baseball pitcher of the year.
He went 12-1 with an 0.82 ERA. Quinn struck out 68 with only 11 walks in 852/3 innings.
Quinn was especially tough in the Trinity League, widely considered the best league in the county, going 6-0 with a 0.35 ERA.
So why the tepid interest from the pro and college programs?
Quinn is 6-foot-1, 170 pounds and throws sidearm. He’s not 6-6, 200 pounds with an over-the-top motion, which has become almost the standard for college and pro pitching prospects.
“Anybody can throw sidearm,” said Quinn. “But not everybody can be good throwing sidearm.”
His release point sends his fastball initially toward the hip of right-handed hitters and into the wheelhouse of left-handed hitters. But Quinn was equally successful against both because of the way that fastball moves – away from and then back into the fists of right-handed hitters, or tailing away and dropping against left-handed hitters.
His slider and changeup were deadly, too.
“Against right-handed hitters the slider is huge,” Quinn said. “Even when the slider isn’t working that well, it still looks good because the fastball is moving so much. Against the lefties, I try to change speeds as much as I can.”
JSerra coach Brett Kay did not see Quinn as a pitcher early in Quinn’s freshman year.
“I thought Collin was a first baseman who had a chance to become a good hitter,” Kay said.
JSerra pitching coach Jeff Robinson, who pitched in the major leagues, tinkered with Quinn’s delivery and release point when Quinn was on the varsity roster as a sophomore.
“Jeff came up to me at a practice and said, ‘You should come watch Collin throw,’” Kay said. “He looked pretty good. One day I put him in a game against St. John Bosco and he threw a ton of strikes, and I thought, ‘OK, we can work with this.’”
Quinn was used a starter, middle-reliever and closer his junior year. In the Boras Classic, he threw a two-hit shutout against Alemany of Mission Hills.
“And since then,” Kay said, “he’s been Collin Quinn.”
JSerra this season won 14 of the 16 games in which Quinn pitched. He ended the regular season with three consecutive shutouts against league opponents Orange Lutheran, St. John Bosco and Servite. In the playoffs, he shut out Dana Hills in the first round and pitched four scoreless innings in a win over Hart of Newhall in the quarterfinals.
He was 12-0 going into the Division 1 semifinals game against Harvard-Westlake of Studio City. Quinn allowed only two runs, but the Lions lost, 2-0.
Quinn is going to Washington State where he has been guaranteed a roster spot but not a full scholarship.
“I got the same offer from six or seven other schools,” he said. “But when I visited there, I really liked it the best.”
Quinn was confident his senior year would be a good one. It turned out to be better.
“I kind of exceeded what I thought I could do,” he said.
Quinn exceeded what others thought he could do, too. What he did was good enough to be the county pitcher of the year.
ALL-COUNTY BASEBALL TEAM
- All-County baseball: First team
- O.C. baseball coach of the year: Marina's Bob Marshall
- O.C. baseball pitcher of the year: JSerra's Collin Quinn
- O.C. baseball player of the year: Cypress' Dominic Fletcher
- All-County baseball: Second and Third Teams
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