Welcome to “The Three Pack”, a weekly feature in which I’ll give you three quick thoughts on anything and everything related to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Today for the three pack we’ll venture off our beaten path and take a quick look at new Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Quinn Priester, who was selected with the team’s first selection at number 18 in the 2019 MLB Entry Draft.
By no means is this meant to be a complete look. Rather, consider this to be merely an introduction to the 6’3” high school righty.
Yes, he has a sinker, so what?
Stop the presses, the Pirates drafted a pitcher with a plus sinker.
Yes, it’s true. Priester’s sinker has been praised far and wide. It is of the power variety, topping out at 94 MPH with heavy sink.
But don’t panic — this selection does not mean that the club is attempting to return to its sinker-heavy ways. The opposite might be equally as true, as you’ll see in a moment.
Chalk me up as one of the crowd that isn’t going to make a big deal about this. If a pitcher has a quality pitch — as all indications point towards Priestley’s sinker as being just that — then the type of pitch it is should not preclude you from drafting him. Avoiding an all around fantastic talent simply because he excels at throwing a pitch you are trying to move away from would be incredibly myopic.
Perhaps I’m perched up on a soapbox here, but the reaction from some fans regarding this has been hard to irgnore.
But the simple fact is that Priestly also carries a plus curveball. In fact, both his curveball and four-seamer were rated a 60 on the 20-80 scale by MLB Pipeline in their pre-draft evaluations. In this way, carrying a sinker makes a ton more sense for Priestly’s overall profile.
Though the sinker is not classically thought of as a setup pitch for a curveball, the velocity and heavy sink inherent in it can work alongside the curve to paint a picture of a full arsenal, provided he can also bring along his lagging changeup.
Here are a few videos of the newest Pirates’ prospect arm: