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Pirates sign top Draft pick Quinn Priester

@adamdberry
June 10, 2019

ATLANTA -- One week after drafting him, the Pirates on Monday announced the signing of first-round pick Quinn Priester. Pittsburgh selected Priester, an 18-year-old right-hander, with the 18th overall pick in the MLB Draft. He will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday morning at PNC Park before beginning

ATLANTA -- One week after drafting him, the Pirates on Monday announced the signing of first-round pick Quinn Priester.

Pittsburgh selected Priester, an 18-year-old right-hander, with the 18th overall pick in the MLB Draft. He will be introduced at a press conference on Tuesday morning at PNC Park before beginning his professional career with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates.

“Today, we share in Quinn’s great enthusiasm in bringing him into the Pirates' organization,” senior director of scouting Joe DelliCarri said in a statement. “Quinn’s very high level of character, his competitive makeup, and abilities should serve him very well for years to come. Our development staff is already very excited to share in Quinn’s journey in becoming the best person and player he can become.”

Draft Tracker: Complete pick-by-pick coverage

Priester agreed to a $3.4 million signing bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. The 18th pick came with an assigned slot value of $3,481,300.

Priester went 8-2 with a 1.00 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings as a senior for Cary-Grove (Ill.) High School. He was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 19 prospect available in this year’s Draft.

The Pirates were drawn to the 6-foot-3 right-hander due to his impressive athleticism, deep arsenal and hard-working attitude. Priester was a two-sport star in high school, playing football as well as baseball. He was committed to attend Texas Christian University, but he decided to forego college to start his professional career.

“I’ve always had the dream of playing Major League Baseball when I was a little kid, but I never realized it was going to become a reality until maybe just a year ago,” Priester said last week. “That’s when I could really focus and really work and start to hone in on baseball as my craft. I’ve been a multiple-sport athlete for a long time. I realized that baseball is what I love, it’s what I’m really passionate about, and it’s what I want to continue doing for as long as I can.

“When we realized that the Draft was an opportunity for me that was possible, I just worked my butt off to try to get to this point. I’m just really excited.”

Priester throws a four-seam fastball, a heavy two-seamer, a tight curveball and a changeup. He is mostly self-taught as a pitcher, a process that included watching YouTube highlights of pitchers like Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and Noah Syndergaard. The night he was drafted, Priester said he was excited to work with the pitching coaches in the Pirates’ system.

“I know they’re big on developing players on and off the field, but they really emphasize developing players off the field and that’s something I thought was amazing,” Priester said. “I’m really fired up to get in an organization like that that puts such an emphasis on player development.”

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.