PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Just 20 years-old and nine games of professional baseball, Pirates right-handed starter Quinn Priester is already seeing his star rising.
For the first time ranked in the top 100 prospects in all of baseball, the third highest Pirate and highest rated Pirates pitcher at 52 overall.
Priester said he worked hard during a challenging 2020 and this off-season to improve and believes the ranking is icing on the cake.
“I’m itching to get out there and put all the work of the off-season and last year into a game environment,” Priester said. “And for it to matter towards a win and loss record.”
That likely will come at the A-ball level, maybe Double A if he has a huge Spring, but he says he doesn’t set goals about where he is playing just about how he can improve. What he’s working on right now is trying to throw his change-up for strikes. He’s consulted pitchers with good change-ups and said he is building relationships with veterans Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault and Jacob Stallings during his first major league camp.
He’s not really looking to impress with his fastball or stuff in Bradenton right now, he’s content doing what first year guys do-like carry the bats to the cages for drills.
“Showing up on time, doing the small things,” Priester said. “Earn that respect from doing the little things right and also listening. I’m here to have open ears not an open mouth.”
Priester is also learning how to take care of his body, while he will eat some occasional French fries and ice cream. He is making sure he gets the nutrition to properly fill out his 6’3” frame, which is currently 207 pounds and would like it at 215 or maybe a little higher.
While he admits he can’t control the recent baseball moves, the Chicago native said he likes the quality of talent the Pirates are adding.
“I’m fired up,” Priester said. “It makes me optimistic about our future. I know we brought in some really good players that’s going to push me to be better and is going to push everyone in the organization to continue to develop and get better.”
He hopes to be able to learn from all of the new players and then take that group to the post-season in Pittsburgh.
“I catch myself daydreaming of playoff games at PNC (Park),” Priester said. “I definitely like to keep myself grounded by reflecting on how fortunate I am to get on a mound and throw a baseball for a living. Putting that perspective helps me go day-to-day.”
Priester says the work begins now. The reward is later.
“It starts today, tomorrow and the day after that, I’m not going to get there just by daydreaming about it,” Priester said.