The Pittsburgh Pirates need to find some quality starting pitching. Every fan of the team knows this but hesitates when it comes to the quality of the Pirates starters. Anymore it seems like the Pirates starting pitching prospects are either bullpen pieces or backend of the rotation-type arms, none really showing significant upside at the Big League level.
This was the case last season for a handful of their pitching prospects. Pitchers like Roansy Contreras and Luis Ortiz took steps backward instead of forward. Then when the team called up top pitching prospect Quinn Priester many were hoping he would look like a former first-round pick. Instead, Priester struggled in his rookie season.
After a standout high school career at Cary-Grove High School, Prister was committed to playing college ball at Texas Christian University. Instead, Priester was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. This would be former General Manager Neal Huntington's last first-round pick.
In the 2023 season, Quinn Priester, at 24 years old, encountered a tough debut on the Major League Baseball field. While he secured three wins in 10 appearances, his Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of -0.9 indicates just how rough of a rookie season it was for the former top-100 prospect. His ERA of 7.74 and a 1.70 WHIP showcase the difficulties he faced. The biggest concern was the fact that he only was able to strike out 36 hitters in 50 innings of work.
Quinn Priester's fastball averaged around 93 miles per hour in the 2023 season. This is a number that many expected to be higher based on his size and athleticism. The righty stands at 6'3'' and has an ideal frame for a starting pitcher. If he can add some velocity this offseason things could start to go in a better direction for the former first round pick.