May 8, 2016
Mick Jagger was singing “I can’t get no satisfaction” over the public address system. On the mound was sidearmer Collin Quinn of San Juan Capistrano JSerra. There were no pro scouts in sight. There were no college recruiters. Radar guns were nonexistent.
It took 74 pitches for Quinn to throw a shutout in a 3-0 victory over Bellflower St. John Bosco. There were 12 ground-ball outs. There were zero walks. He improved his record to 9-0. He lowered his earned-run average to 0.71.
“What more could you ask for?” Coach Brett Kay said.
And yet, the song lyrics from the Rolling Stones classic perfectly described the predicament Quinn is in.
“I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no satisfaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.”
You would think someone at the next level might want a pitcher who gets outs and gets wins. But in baseball these days, it’s all about velocity. And a fastball that barely reaches 82 mph hasn’t caused anyone to decide they want Quinn.
“A sidearmer is always a weird bet,” Quinn said. “I’m just going out here and trying to win games. I love it. That’s all I want to do is win games. It’s my priority right now.”
Quinn switched to a sidearm delivery last year, so his rise has been rapid and the likelihood of even more improvement is inevitable.
“You can tell through the season, I’m just getting better,” he said.
He has a fastball, a changeup, a high slider and a low slider. And the ball moves.
“Movement is you got it or you don’t,” he said. “Some people throw sidearm and throw straight. It’s just how it is. Velocity you have to work on. It’s tough. Trust me. If it wasn’t, I’d be throwing 95. I’d like to say it moves quite a bit.”
When Quinn pitches, the infielders need to be alert, because they’re usually busy. His third baseman, shortstop, second baseman and first baseman all get ground-ball opportunities.
Yes, strikeouts are more dramatic, but getting outs that lead to victories is the bottom line, and no pitcher has been better this season than Quinn in delivering victories to JSerra, ranked No. 1 in Southern California.
The Southern Section Division 1 playoffs begin next week, and an added benefit is that Quinn should be available for multiple games during the week because of his sidearm delivery, which causes less strain on the arm.
Let’s hope recruiters do a little more research on Quinn. Do they know that he sets his phone alarm to go off at 3:30 a.m. on the day after he pitches so he can go running near his residence in Ladera Ranch and work out at a nearby 24-hour fitness club?
Asked what it’s like to run in the morning, Quinn said, “Sometimes you see a few coyotes.”
Any pitcher who runs with the coyotes and has a 9-0 record ought to be able to attract the attention of a college recruiter or two.
“I’ll find a place,” Quinn said.