Pirates fans waited longer than they expected to see Quinn Priester on a mound this season. His debut was worth it.
Baseball’s No. 48 overall prospect dealt the first three innings of a historic night, striking out one and facing just one over the minimum, and three relievers followed to complete a no-hitter for Single-A Bradenton in a 3-0 win over visiting Clearwater.
Priester opened his night by retiring the first three batters in order, all on groundouts, and needed just nine pitches to get through the first inning. After plunking Clearwater’s Leandro Pineda with one out in the second, the right-hander retired the next five he faced to close his day.
Out of his 37 pitches (20 strikes), Priester topped out at 96.6 mph with his four-seam fastball and primarily relied on that heater and his sinker, utilizing the latter for 30 percent of his pitches and throwing it for strikes 55 percent of the time.
The 18th overall pick in the 2019 Draft, Priester reached full-season ball for the first time last year and went 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 20 starts for High-A Greensboro. The Illinois prep product struck out 98 batters in 97 2/3 innings, walking 39 and limiting opponents to a .225 batting average.