The Pittsburgh Pirates saw their 2019 first-round pick head to the mound today. He is off to a strong start to his career, but how did he perform today?
The Pittsburgh Pirates first-round pick this year, Quinn Priester, has lived up to the billing so far early on in his professional career. Priester has been pitching in the Gulf Coast League. The GCL is where basically all the prep players go along with the young international free agents.
On the Pittsburgh Pirates current Gulf Coast League team they have multiple of their top prep talents from the 2019 draft. Along with Priester are three over slot prep players, including competitive balance pick Sammy Siani (number 37 overall), 11th round pick Jase Bowen, and 23rd round pick Jasiah Dixon. So there is a lot of intriguing talent on the team.
As mentioned earlier, Priester is off to a really solid start to his professional career. So far he has made four starts in the Bucs system, the most recent coming today. The Pittsburgh Pirates GCL affiliate took on the Minnesota Twins GCL affiliate.
In his fourth pro start, Priester was faced by fellow 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaci. Priester got right after Cavaci and struck him out in the first inning with a 95 mile per hour heater. Then in the second inning, Priester struck him out once more.
While Priester carved up Cavaci, it ended up being the toughest start of his young career. He got two outs in the fourth inning before being pulled. He had trouble in the second inning along with the fourth inning. All in all, Priester was tagged with four runs, although only one of them was earned. This is the most he has given up in an outing this year and took his ERA from 1.59 to 1.80.
The biggest positive from the start was his fastball and his strikeouts. Priester routinely had his fastball humming from 93-94, with it touching 95 at times. It looks like the velocity is already there for the projectable 6’3” right-hander. He also has done a good job of getting swings and misses. Today he struck out five batters in his 3.2 innings of work, and he has 19 total in his 15 innings of work.
It would not have mattered how well Priester pitched, as the Pittsburgh Pirates Gulf Coast team was shut out. They lost by a score of 6-0 to the GCL Twins, collecting only two hits with one coming from toolsy outfielder Jasiah Dixon. Sammy Siani led of the game and went 0-1, but he also walked twice.