On Sunday, Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect Quinn Priester delivered six strong innings in Altoona’s 3-2 extra-innings win over Harrisburg. Priester allowed one unearned run on just three hits, walked a single batter and punched out eight.
It marked the latest strong outing for the 21-year-old right-hander, who has been on fire in his six starts with Altoona this season. In those six outings, Priester has a miniscule 1.65 ERA, backed by a strong 2.41 FIP. Across 27.1 innings, Priester has allowed 21 hits, walked seven and struck out 29.
The 2019 18th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Priester has been especially dominant of late. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three outings, a span of 16.1 innings. Opponents have been able to collect just nine hits and have reached on free passes three times, while Priester has sat down 17 on strikes.
Injuries have limited Priester to just 33 total innings between Altoona and one rehab start each with both Low-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, but the Pirates have to love what they have seen from him when healthy.
In total, Priester doesn’t have a ton of mileage on his arm, thanks in part to there being no minor league season in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Still, when he has pitched, Priester has impressed and the young righty is taking a step forward this season. For his minor league career, Priester has a 3.01 ERA with 172 strikeouts in 167.2 innings of work.
Priester’s best pitch has always been his plus-curveball, which is part of the reason scouts believe he has top-of-the-rotation potential. Priester currently ranks as the Bucs’ fourth-best prospect by MLB Pipeline and checks in at No. 34 in all of baseball.
Though he has only made a handful of starts in Double-A, it may be reasonable to believe that Priester can reach Triple-A Indianapolis by the end of the season.
Priester is another of a handful of promising young Pirates’ prospects who are starting to inch closer to reaching the big stage in Pittsburgh.