Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Quinn Priester Promoted Already
The Pittsburgh Pirates are already getting great results from their 2019 draft class. Their first-round pick has already lived up to the hype
In the 2019 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates had the 18th overall pick. While they were drafting in the bottom half of the draft, they were still able to find a very high upside pitching prospect. The team used their 18th overall pick to select Illinois prep right-hander Quinn Priester. The Bucs actually made Priester the top prep picture to be drafted in the 2019 draft.
By doing so, the Pittsburgh pirates made Priester the third prep pitcher to be trapped in the first round by Neal Huntington in his tenure, and the early returns have been good. Priester has looked every bit of a first-round pick and is having as much, if not more, success than any other prep pitcher taken in the 2019 draft.
After signing, the Pittsburgh pirates placed Priester in the golf Coast league, this is where most high school drafted players go, as well as young international signees. As mentioned above, Priester proved very quickly that he was much more advanced than the other talent in the Golf Coast league.
The 6’3” 18-year-old pitched in eight games, including seven starts, where he threw 32.2 innings to a tune of a 3.03 ERA. The most earned runs he allowed in an appearance was three and that was only in one game. Beyond that, he showed the ability to strike hitters out but also get ground ball outs. Priester struck out 26.5 percent of the batters he faced and he produced a 55 percent ground ball rate. Even more impressive is that he was only walking 7.0 percent of batters he faced. The fact that he was showing strong command at such a young age is very promising.
This dominant start to his career in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization has already lead to him getting promoted to the next level. Priester is moving up to Short-Season A West Virginia where he will likely finish the year pitching for the Black Bears.
It is out of the ordinary to see the Pittsburgh Pirates move a prep draftee to the more advanced level short season. Usually, players in the New York Penn League come out the college ranks or are the college-aged international signees. The fact that the Bucs are already moving Priester up to face college level prospects suggest that they believe he is as advanced already.
Now obviously there are only a few games left, but it is still impressive to see the pitcher already moving up the organizational ladder. This leaves no doubt that the Pittsburgh Pirates could give Priester an aggressive push to full-season ball as soon as next year.