ALTOONA, Pa. – As much as baseball is about the results on the field, so much is about preparing yourself for each game — day in and day out.
Players spend hours not only looking to improve their game, but also preparing for their next opponent. Team’s want to enter each and every game with as much knowledge as possible on their opponent, looking for every advantage possible.
Now that Quinn Priester is getting more time on the mound, his opponents are getting a better idea of what to expect. That hasn’t altered the approach of the 2019 first rounder.
“I don’t think that matters,” Priester told Pirates Prospects. “Whether they have a scouting report on me or not isn’t going to change the fact that I’m going to pitch good.”
Priester has certainly pitched well this season, even with the late start. He was a part of the combined no-hitter thrown by the Bradenton Marauders in his first rehab start. While he was roughed up a bit in Greensboro, he hit the ground running in Altoona.
In 11 starts for the Curve, Priester has posted a 2.43 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 55.2 innings pitched. He recognized the work he’s been putting in, and that it’s starting to yield the results you want to see.
“The results show I’ve been working well, and having good work days,” Priester said. “Even some of the hits I’m giving up, I’m like okay, that was well executed, just not the right pitch for the situation”.
One such instance came this past week against Harrisburg. He allowed a two-run home run in the first inning, letting Harrisburg to jump out to an early lead.
“The homer the other night, 2-0, miss, you don’t have a lot to go off of,” Priester said. “Because I was behind, and I missed my pitch. A bunch of bad is going to lead to bad, obviously. Just trying to control the little parts of the game, and not get stuck in bad things.”
It was something that could have derailed the start, but Priester dug deep and only allowed one more hit the final six innings he pitched.
Overcoming slow starts isn’t something new to Priester. Maybe the best start of the season last year with Greensboro began with the first three batters he faced getting on base. He dug deep, and got out the inning without giving up a run.
He would go on to pitch seven total innings, while striking out 10 batters in the process. Priester even managed to have an immaculate inning that same game.
“Just trusting that, and knowing that I’ve prepared really well, and I do prepare really well every week is enough for me to go out and know I should beat these guys here.” Priester said. “If I do the things I can control, we’re going to have a good result, and we’re going to be in a good position to win the game.
That statement rang true for Priester in his most recent start against the Bowie Baysox. Priester didn’t have his best stuff, but also wasn’t helped out too much by his defense, who committed a pair of errors that eventually allowed some runners to score. In total he allowed five runs in the game, but only one was earned.
Still, with the help of the offense, and pitching around some of the trouble that came through the seven hits and three hit batters he allowed, Priester and the Curve escaped with a win on the night.
When it comes to learning to trust his stuff, Priester believes that sometimes you have to learn the hard way to become a better player.
“It’s just a matter of allowing yourself to fail, but also learning immediately, and going this is how I’ve got to use this next time,” Priester said. “I’ve struck guys out on all of [my pitches]. I know that they all play. It’s just a matter of how I’m going to use them to get the most out of them.”
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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.