Pirates GM: ‘You’re going to fall in love with’ 1st-round pick Quinn Priester
Quinn Priester had seen pictures of PNC Park and even saved one as the background on his phone after the Pittsburgh Pirates selected the pitcher in the first round of the MLB Draft.
“But seeing it in person doesn’t even compare to any of the pictures I’ve seen,” Priester said. “I’ve been to a few ballparks. I’ve played at Petco, Wrigley and Tropicana. This just blows it out of the water.”
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander from Cary-Grove High School in Illinois blew the Pirates away, both with his pitching prowess and personality. The Pirates introduced Priester, the No. 18 overall pick in the MLB Draft, Tuesday morning at PNC Park after he signed a contract to play professionally.
“As you get to know this young man, we believe you’re going to fall in love with him as a player and as a person the way our scouts did,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “Quinn has so many of the traits that elite major league starting pitchers have, and he has them or has the potential to develop them. He’s intelligent. He’s driven. He’s a terrific two-sport athlete. The physical attributes speak for themselves.”
Priester said the decision to skip college baseball — he had signed with TCU — and play professionally was one he had made before the draft. The Pirates declined to discuss details of his deal, but MLBPipeline.com reported that he signed for $3.4 million, which is slot value.
1st-rder Quinn Priester signs w/@Pirates for $3.4 mil. Illinois HS RHP, state Gatorade player of year, VG athlete also starred at WR & DB on state championship football team. Four-seamer to 97 mph, lively two-seamer in 90s, quality curve, quality delivery. TCU recruit. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 10, 2019
Priester planned to tour the city, making a stop for the rite-of-passage lunch at Primanti Bros., before flying to Florida on Wednesday to play for the Gulf Coast League’s Marauders.
“It’s pretty surreal,” Priester said. ‘It’s one thing to hear it and then it’s another to put ink to paper. I was speechless. … I’m super excited to start playing baseball.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .