After being drafted in the first round of this past June’s MLB Draft, pitcher Quinn Priester quickly became one of the team’s top prospects.
With the 18th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed pitcher Quinn Priester. The Priester selection was the start of what was viewed by many outlets as a strong draft by the Pirates.
Prior to the draft, many scouts and draft analyst had Priester as the top prep pitcher in the draft. Despite this, when the Pirates picked at 18 he was still on the board. This made selecting Priester a no brainer for former general manager Neal Huntington and his staff.
Priester signed quickly after being drafted and this led to him making his professional debut on July 2nd. In 8 games (7 starts) with the Gulf Coast League Pirates Priester impressed. He posted a 3.03 ERA and a 2.92 FIP to go with a 26.4% strikeout rate and a 7.1% walk rate. He also allowed just 29 hits and a single home run in 32 2/3 innings of work.
After impressing in the GCL, Priester earned a late season promotion. He made one start for the short-season Low-A West Virginia Black Bears. In this start Priester allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, on 3 hits, 4 four walks, he hit a batter, and he struck out 4 in 4 innings of work.
While this start did not go as Priester had hoped, getting a start under his belt with West Virginia at just age 18 less than two months after being drafted was great to see. This sets Priester up to take a big step in 2020.
Priester will likely start the 2020 season with West Virginia. If he pitches well with the Black Bears, the Pirates could look to be aggressive and promote him to full-season Low-A Greensboro for a few starts late in the season. Regardless of where it takes place, what is most important for a pitcher as young as Priester is simply logging innings, working on control, refining their pitches, and adjusting to the pro game.