Quinn Priester and Bubba Chandler Mentioned as Top 100 Candidates

Baseball America posted two articles that spoke highly of two Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitching prospects who didn’t make their top 100 prospects list earlier this week. Quinn Priester was on their list of players who just missed the top 100, while Bubba Chandler was mentioned among the players who could jump into the top 100.

The article for Priester mentioned all of the prospects who received top 150 votes from the writers at Baseball America. They noted that Chandler, Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero each received votes. Only Priester was mentioned among the players who just missed the list.

BA noted that Priester did not do well in the Arizona Fall League, and they didn’t speak highly of his fastball, which is likely why he didn’t make their top 100, after being on the list mid-season. They spoke highly of all three of his secondary pitches, saying “Priester is an above-average strike-thrower with a trio of average or better secondaries to mask the dead-zone shape on his fastball.”

Priester had a 3.29 ERA in 90.1 innings this past season, with a 1.21 WHIP and an 89:30 SO/BB ratio. He got a late start to the season due to an oblique injury. His AFL numbers show a 6.26 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 23 innings.

As for the Chandler article, they talk strictly about his pitching for his future. They say he has a chance for three plus pitches once he gets more mound experience. Right now everything is raw, and his control is spotty, but the potential is there. Here’s the key quote for his write-up:

“Despite doing a fine job repeating his delivery, Chandler’s control and command wander. The Pirates chalk this up to overall inexperience and expect it to improve as he moves up the ladder. If it does, he could tap into his sky-high potential and move into the game’s elite prospects.”

I agree with everything they said about Chandler, including leaving hitting out of the equation, though I wouldn’t keep him from continuing to hit for now. He has legit raw power. I’d add to their report by saying that he seems to let the game speed up on him, and I noticed a good catcher can pick that up as it starts to happen and slow him down.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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john.benedict

Sorry Quinn you were bounced from the infamous “trust the 100 list” by 25 kids who haven’t tried on a uniform. Turned 22 in Sept and has all but 39 post covid starts, the “judges of trust” are convinced fastball lacks movement to be more #3 . I guess there’s no room for improvement after you turn 22
Meanwhile age 21 2022 AA batters hit 4 HR’s and last year pitching in coors field at age 20 only 8 and 3 were in 1 game.
I understand its only the farm so take this for what its worth, I streamed all of QP starts except for 2 because I went to those games
Sept 3rd at the Akron Rubber ducks (CLE 71-54) and Sept 9th at the
Erie Seawolves (DET) (76-54 arguably best sticks in AA
Game started at 6:06, ended 8:14, same with pesky Ducks

Made short work of both in the 2 wins, Cheri was in ERIE and watched from the press box combined lines
13 INN
5 H
1 R
3-BB
9 K

Another good one, was in Daytona and caught a Poy Yu Cheng start
Knew he didn’t throw hard but the grade was a 30 on FB
All he did was miss bats 91-93 RANGE but ball was moving unlike QP LOL

HATE LIST

Cobra

Current scouting on Priester – and given a clear # 1 in the system- may be why Ben wants an impact arm for Reynolds. We obviously won’t get one on the FA market. It’s also why if draft day was tomorrow Ben would go Dollander over Crews

1979andCounting

Chandler: “He seems to let the game speed up on him, but a good catcher can slow him down.” Not really now with the pitch clock. I’ve heard all the accolades of how the pitch clock is improving the pace of the game, for fielders and fans alike. But there is this downside that I always thought was a BIG deal…….letting the pitcher control his rhythm, especially in big spots of the game.

NMR

I think this phrase is typically used in more of a philosophical than physical sense.

A pitcher with his emotional and strategic senses in check has more than enough time to execute.

Last edited 7 days ago by NMR
1979andCounting

Agreed, but there’s both aspects to it. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with a one-run lead, you’ve got to speed up your mind with the pitch clock ticking (clock is ticking maybe in the pitcher’s field of vision too) in order to execute pitches of the next AB. There’s just limited time and limited mound visits.

CTBucco

No mention of Solometo is a little disappointing. I think he’s a better pitching prospect than Bubba. His floor is much higher. His ceiling is lower thanks to Bubba’s athleticism and power FB, but he already has control. He puts up good numbers. It just seems like he already knows how to pitch. Plus, he’s a lefty. I guess he’s going to have to prove it as he moves up to get recognition.

CTBucco

Good point about lefties and his lack of velo. I am hoping that with his age and size he will develop more velo over the next couple of years. I just hope he doesn’t need to overhaul his deceptive delivery to gain the extra MPH he needs to play up to his ceiling.

sweetnich

Sounds like Solometo is an old fashioned “loogy”. IMO that will still work. Sweeping slurve from where he throws from will absolutely play…

as a relief pitcher.

Wilbur Miller

One noteworthy comment BA had on Chandler:

His fastball sits in the mid 90s, gets tons of whiffs and is especially effective at the top of the zone.

This is consistent with what I saw of Chandler both in the FCL and at Bradenton. He’s capable of simply blowing hitters away with the FB. His control did tend to falter at times, I thought maybe through over-throwing. But he’d always manage to collect himself and get out of trouble. And he may be the best athlete in the system.

Chandler may have the highest ceiling in the system aside from Termarr. There’s a lot of risk involved. He might not even get past Class A for all I know. But there’s just explosive potential with him, which I hope we’ll see this year.

GreenWeenie

The dude can legit throw a football right and left handed. His athleticism is off the charts. Hopefully his potential will translate to baseball. I loved this draft pick.

Wilbur Miller

I actually got puzzled at an FCL game when I saw a left-handed guy warming up one of the outfielders. I couldn’t figure out who it was, partly because that team was overwhelmingly Latin American and this guy clearly wasn’t. I finally figured out it was Chandler’s number, so I thought, they must have made a roster move or something. The guy absolutely looked left-handed. Finally somebody told me that, no, that was Chandler, he’s ambidextrous.

Last edited 7 days ago by Wilbur Miller
sweetnich

OT Wilbur, but what do you think the front office is thinking? They are usually one or two steps ahead of us at least in their strategy (where they go next to try to get an advantage). It’s their job.

One thing for sure short term is OBP, as their moves this year have been all tailored towards it. To me, another is that they are looking for starting pitchers to go 3-5 innings max. and try to build enough bullpen depth, even to AAA, to cover the remainder of the innings. Build up bullpen depth to shuffle guys back and forth depending on use. Makes me think that De Jong, Underwood, and Stephenson could be the next to go in trades (DFA if needed) because they have no options.

Wilbur Miller

On OBP, I’m just guessing that they think they can get some power from Cruz, Suwinski and Castro, but they’re looking for some guys not only to get on base, but to cut down on all the 10-12 pitch innings they’re gifting opposing pitchers. That might help the younger guys, I suppose.

With the pitching, I think it was a good sign that they were willing to cut bait on Thompson and Wilson. I’m hoping that means they’ve had enough of guys who just can’t go past 4-5 innings. Maybe they’re really determined to try to build a rotation of guys who, at least on good days, can go 6-7. Of course, that absolutely doesn’t include Velasquez, whose history is that he’s strictly a 4-5 inning guy, at best.

skliesen

Bubba Ohtani is going to going to make people forget all about Shohei in a few years time.

mpg43952

He must be from the Far East of Georgia!

joesolo6181

From a potential number one starter to now a possible 3\5 starter. Can I show my ignorance by asking what happened? Now all of a sudden hE has a straight hit able fastball. Why no mention of this till now and why hasn’t it be addressed and improved by the development staff? This is very disappointing.

Last edited 7 days ago by joesolo6181
Wilbur Miller

The main thing that happened was that writers heard Priester was hitting the upper-90s in short outings at the training facility during the pandemic, and got totally carried away with it. Then reality set in and he went back to being the prospect he’d always been: a very good one, but not the next Roger Clemens.

Aurorus

I’ve liked Priester since the day he was drafted. I think his fall out of the top 100 is based on the increasing use of new analytic tools, exactly as they describe. They don’t like his fastball movement because it falls within a standard deviation of the norm for his arm-slot. Scouts who see him in person without referring to analytics love him however for his smooth motion, his ability to repeat his delivery almost automatically, and the resulting good control.

I am a firm believer that, with experience, control can more than compensate for pure stuff, especially with the fastball. If he is hitting the corners and putting that thing in on your hands, it does not matter if you react to it properly with your swing, you are not going to get the barrel on it. Again, I think the analytics people have found a new toy, which is helpful in some ways, but they are grossly overemphasizing the importance of their latest data. All data must be taken in the aggregate and not weighted toward whatever is the latest thing.

Anthony

Similar sets of data will likely signal the most probable of outcomes.

Aurorus

To a limited degree. First, the data available in any scientific endeavor is limited to the means available to measure and quantify phenomena. Thus there is always more to an event than data available. As technological advances are made, more data becomes available. However, the data can never fully describe or account for all causes that produce an outcome. It is human nature to think that the data that we have available at any given time can account fully for a phenomenon (this is a major factor in producing what Thomas Kuhn called “paradigms,” which, of course, are always overturned eventually by the discovery of new types of data).

Second, there are numerous very successful MLB pitchers who do not have fastballs with movement that falls far from the norm for their arm-slot. The guys who do have fastballs that deviate in movement dramatically are often “funky” type pitchers who are limited to bullpen roles owing to a lack of control or being prone to injury.

Last edited 6 days ago by Aurorus
Anthony

I appreciate the response, but I wasn’t suggesting that only data be relied upon to form opinions and/or conclusions. My point was simply noting that similar sets of data obtained from various analyses can help you identify the most probable of outcomes. If you think in probabilities, it’s just a higher conviction process for analyzing data.

ArkyWags

It’s also because readers read what they want to read about a prep arm. Any prep arm that hits mid 90s with a wicked hammer will have a write up that the player has a chance to be a top of the rotation starter. But that chance is like 2%, and fans don’t want to hear or read that.

skliesen

Please clarify what a “dead zone fastball shape” means?

ArkyWags

I’ve always found this article helpful in talking about fastball shape.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-importance-of-fastball-shape/

skliesen

I’d like to see QP’s chart. I’m guessing it’s right on the line.

Let’s hope a 2-seam does for him, what it did for Keller.

Danatural08

You beat me to this question. From the video ive seen, I’m guessing it means that its very straight, with little movement. But never heard a fastball described this way.

juniorkrz

So what can we expect from Priester? Is he more of a 4-5 than a 3? If that’s the case, it would be a little disappointing that a first rounder has such a low ceiling.

PirateRican21

Burrows and Ortiz has passed him on a few list and I tend to agree, but is not a done deal, he doesn’t have Burrows nor Ortiz FB but he’s a resilient kid, I think we will have a better understanding after this year.

ArkyWags

I don’t think that would be that bad, if he ended up as a 3. If he’s a 4-5 that’s a bit disappointing, but not terrible. That entire first round from that board is all over the place right now.

Anthony

I mean, what was/is Taillon?

I wouldn’t be disappointed with this outcome.

ArkyWags

I wouldn’t either. Some fans have outsized expectations for draft picks that they’d be best served to temper.

PirateRican21

Many 1st round picks don’t make it, this team can’t afford to miss often, but is still a fact.

ArkyWags

Misses hurt a lot more in the top 5 or 10. Once you get out of that range in the first round you’re gonna miss more often.
He’s also not a miss yet!

PirateRican21

No he is not, I think he’s gonna be just fine, it took Keller this long to put it together (as a 3) so he needs time.

Wilbur Miller

A 3 is a good outcome. This wasn’t a 1-1 pick.

TNBucs

Yes, and in terms of our top picks in 2018-2021, I’d rank them Priester, Davis, Gonzales, Swaggerty and Priester is the only one who wasn’t drafted in the top 10. Of course until they make it in the majors, who knows? But that’s how I’d value them currently.

Last edited 7 days ago by TNBucs
Wilbur Miller

Swaggerty . . . oof.

PirateRican21

Burlington, Burlington! Wait he wasn’t even a 3!

Wilbur Miller

Well, you could argue he was basically a $3 bill.

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