Quinn Priester, a 2019 Cary-Grove graduate, will make his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. Priester will start for the Pirates in Pittsburgh, who will face the Cleveland Guardians and starter Xzavion Curry.
Here are five things to know about Priester, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander whose shown he can find different ways to strike out batters.
1. Worth the wait
The Pirates had confidence in Priester when they drafted him 18th overall in 2019 out of high school and he’s shown off his potential in the minor leagues when he could. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the regular minor league season for 2020 and his 2022 season was delayed because of an oblique strain, but he’s impressed and moved his way up through the minor leagues. He’ll join Pittsburgh after pitching with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, where he started 18 games and compiled a 4.31 ERA, 84 strikeouts and a 7-3 record so far this season.
2. 2019 Northwest Herald Player of the Year
Priester finished 8-2 during his senior season with the Trojans, with a 1.16 ERA and 91 strikeouts and 14 walks in 60 1/3 innings. He was named the Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year after a strong season not only on the mound but also at the plate. Priester was one of the Trojans’ best hitters that year, batting .323 with two homers and 23 RBIs. The Pirates soon drafted Priester after his season on June 5, 2019.
3. The gang’s all here
Priester will become the third Pirates first-round draft pick to make his debut over the past month. He’ll join 2021 No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis and 2020 first-round pick Nick Gonzalez, who both joined the team that’s 41-52 and is 10 ½ games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the National League Central lead as of Monday. Priester was ranked No. 53 in MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects rankings.
4. McHenry County’s big summer
Priester will become McHenry County’s second baseball player to make his MLB debut this season. McHenry West graduate Bobby Miller made his debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in May. McHenry County baseball fans have kept tabs on both players since they squared off in high school, including an April matchup in 2017 where Miller had the key hit, a two-run double off Priester after C-G committed a couple of errors. The two will need to wait until next season for a potential reunion since the Pirates and Dodgers have already played their two series against each other.
5. Living out a dream
Priester will now get an opportunity to pitch against some of his favorite players. In his 2019 Baseball Player of the Year interview, he said the Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks was one of his favorite players he’d build a five-man rotation around. Now he might get a chance to pitch against Hendricks when the two teams meets in August and September.