Pittsburgh Pirates: Rum Bunter’s Top 10 Prospects
By Noah Wright
6. Quinn Priester
Not only did the Pittsburgh Pirates get Malone, a top rated high school arm, out of the first-round of the 2019 draft through trade, but their selection, Quinn Priester was one of the other top rated high school arms in the draft last year as well.
FanGraphs ranked Priester as the 17th best draft prospect, but the third best pitcher available. MLB Pipeline ranked the right hander as the 19th best selection, but had him as the 7th best pitcher available. The Pittsburgh Pirates seemed to agree with both sources as he was selected with the 18th pick in the draft, and the 4th pitcher taken.
Priester did well given his first taste of professional action. At the Gulf Coast League, Priester put up a 3.03 ERA, a 2.92 FIP and 1.19 WHIP in his first 32.2 innings. Impressively, Priester only allowed a 7.1% walk rate and struck batters out above 25% at 26.4%. He also only allowed one home run. Priester’s xFIP in this time was 2.92.
He did appear in one game at Low-A West Virginia and struggled, but again, it was a one game, 4 inning sample size, if you want to even call it that.
Priester works with four pitches, all of which FanGraphs considers as above average. Priester’s fastball sits in the 91-95 MPH range and he can top out at 97 MPH. Though it doesn’t have much spin, Fangraphs sees it as a pitch with 60-grade potential. He also has a two seamer that sits in the lower-90s.
According to MLB Pipeline, his two-seamer could be better than his four-seamer given it’s movement. His breaking pitch is a curveball with a future 55 grade which he can put 2500 RPM. It’s a pitch he can get a lot of swings and misses with, which is something MLB Pipeline takes note of. His fourth pitch is a change up. He hasn’t used it all that much, but Pipeline observed he does have a feel for it, which is one of the reasons Fangraphs gives it a 55 future grade.