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Pirates prospect Quinn Priester is heating up

The Pirates’ number four overall prospect, Quinn Priester, is fresh off his best performance of the season with a lot more in store.

Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day
Pitcher Quinn Priester struck out 11 batters in an Indianapolis victory on Saturday.
Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

As the de-facto president of the Quinn Priester bandwagon, I’ll be the first to say that he has had a rough stretch of games as of late. Entering Saturday’s contest, his previous five starts saw him pitching with a 5.84 ERA, which is likely the reason other prospects have seen promotion and he has not. Saturday saw the tide turn for Priester however, as he struck out a season high 11 batters helping Indianapolis down Columbus in a 3-1 victory.

The Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates lays claim to several of the top prospects in baseball, Priester being one of them, and catcher Endy Rodriguez being another. The duo are really starting to find their grooves towards the midseason mark, with both primed for promotion with more memorable performances.

Priester went on to say that a key to their success was his ability to attack the zone with several different pitches.

“Tonight I just kind of had it working ... I was able to really work inside to their lefties, and then finish with the curveball, which was the best pitch tonight. So I was really proud of being able to be so versatile tonight, and I think that led to a lot of success.”

That versatility is shining through at an important time in Priester’s career, as he is fine tuning the tools that the Pirates were hoping he could develop when they drafted him in the first round of the 2019 draft. A raw prospect out of Cary-Grove High School in Illinois, Priester was always athletic on the mound with a strong arm. Now he is using that raw athleticism to correct some of the flaws he has dealt with for control and accuracy.

Saturday was another reminder as to why Priester is so high on the MLB pipeline’s list of prospects as he struck out 11 Columbus batters while only walking two. Starting with the four seam, he clearly had some control over the opposing batters, and then came the off-speed pitches. Zero balls were put into play on curve and changeup offerings.

There is still plenty of time for further development, but there is evidence that the current four pitch mix the 22-year old is working with can be effective.

Consistency is a word I’ve used a lot in my Pirates’ articles, and we need to see more of that from Priester. May was an awesome stretch, most of June has not been. With that being said, there is a lot to be happy about in Pittsburgh (and Indy and Altoona) and I will continue to campaign for Priester’s promotion.