Pirates plan to build top pick Quinn Priester ‘the right way’ in Bradenton
The Pirates gave Quinn Priester and his family the prototypical tour of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, from getting his first view inside PNC Park to a ride on the incline and lunch at Primanti Bros.
On Wednesday, they put Priester on a plane.
After signing their first-round pick, the Pirates sent the 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander to Bradenton, Fla., to begin his professional baseball career in the Gulf Coast League.
“It’s been nothing but positive,” Priester said of joining the Pirates, “so I’m really excited.”
— Quinn Priester (@QuinnPriester) June 11, 2019
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said the plan was to build Priester back up after some down time since he last pitched for his Cary-Grove High School team.
Priester threw 94 pitches in 61⁄3 innings May 30, striking out 11 in a 5-4 victory over Huntley in the Illinois Class 4A sectional semifinals. Priester homered in Cary-Grove’s loss in the sectional championship June 1.
“Fortunately, he hasn’t been down that long,” Huntington said. “We’ll get to know him. We’ll get to understand why he’s gotten to this level, what’s worked for him, what hasn’t worked for him. We’ll begin to earn his trust and respect. We’ll begin to put our plan together for how we help him.”
Huntington, however, warned that Priester won’t be pitching seven innings every five days in the Gulf Coast League. The Pirates reportedly signed Priester to a $3.4 million bonus, and they plan to treat him like a prized investment.
“We’ll build him the right way,” Huntington said. “We’re in this thing for years to come, not necessarily looking for performance from him in the next week. We’re in this for the long haul with the Priester family, with Quinn, and we’re going to work to have him become the best major league pitcher for years that he can possibly be.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .