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Pirates Prospect Watch: Priester Dazzles With 11 Ks



Pirates Prospects, Quinn Priester

Pirates minor league affiliates went 3-1 on the day on Saturday, June 24. Indianapolis starter Quinn Priester dazzled with 11 strikeouts in six innings, but he got stuck with a no decision as his team didn’t manage any runs until the late innings.

Here are the notable performances from Saturday.

Triple-A Indianapolis Indians (33-40)

RHP Quinn Priester

  • Game: 6 IP, three hits, two walks, 11 strikeouts.
  • Season: 4.36 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 74.1 innings pitched.

LF Canaan Smith-Njigba 

  • Game: 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
  • Season: .229/.329/.486, 10 doubles, one triple, eight home runs and 25 RBI in 37 minor league games.

Indianapolis won 3-1, with Smith-Njigba’s eighth-inning home run the difference. Third baseman Chris Owings added two singles and a walk, while Mark Mathias (playing right field for the day) singled and walked. 

Double-A Altoona Curve (33-34)

3B Andrés Alvarez

  • Game: 3-for-4 with three singles.
  • Season: .209/.276/.335, 12 doubles, five home runs and 24 RBI in 61 games.

LHP Omar Cruz

  • Game: two strikeouts and no base runners allowed in 3.1 innings pitched.
  • Season: 2.93 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 15.1 innings pitched.

The Curve played a game best forgotten, falling 15-1 to the Bowie Bay Sox at home. Cruz turned in an excellent performance in relief, but the Bay Sox racked up 15 runs before he entered. Catcher Abrahan Gutierrez drew a pair of walks, and designated hitter Connor Scott hit an RBI double.

High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers (37-29)

SS Maikol Escotto

  • Game: 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. 
  • Season: .223/.269/.368, eight doubles, one triple, six home runs and 27 RBI in 55 games.

DH Brendan Dixon

  • Game: 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, a walk and two RBI.
  • Season: .233/.341/.466, six doubles, six home runs and 20 RBI in 32 games between Greensboro and Indianapolis.

The Grasshoppers blew out the Winston-Salem Dash 12-2. Escotto and Dixon continued their excellent weekend at the plate with a pair of extra-base hits each. Right-handed pitcher Bubba Chandler rebounded well after a two-run first inning, but the Dash elevated his pitch count early, chasing him from the game after just 3.2 innings.

Single-A Bradenton Marauders (37-30)

RHP Alessandro Ercolani

  • Game: four strikeouts, three hits allowed in six scoreless innings.
  • Season: 4.08 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched.

1B Jesus Castillo

  • Game: 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
  • Season: .220/.393/.258, six doubles, one triple, 55 walks and 19 RBI in 63 games.

Bradenton outlasted the Lakeland Flying Tigers 2-1 behind a strong start from Ercolani, the first player from San Marino to receive a contract from a MLB organization. Marauders’ closer Ryan Harbin worked a five-out save, striking out a pair, while Termarr Johnson walked twice.

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