Baseball

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates announce deal with 1st-round pick Priester

Cary-Grove starting pitcher Quinn Priester hurls a pitch to a Prairie Ridge batter  during their baseball game at Cary-Grove High School on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Cary. Prairie Ridge won 4-0.
Cary-Grove starting pitcher Quinn Priester hurls a pitch to a Prairie Ridge batter during their baseball game at Cary-Grove High School on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Cary. Prairie Ridge won 4-0.

Cary-Grove graduate Quinn Priester officially is a professional baseball player.

Priester, who just finished his senior year of high school, signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday and will have his first news conference with the media at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The Pirates announced the signing via their Twitter page, @Pirates, with this: “OFFICIAL : We have signed our first round selection RHP Quinn Priester (@QuinnPriester), the 18th overall selection in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft. Welcome to the Burgh, Quinn!”

The slotted value for that pick was $3.481,300, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the exact value of Priester’s deal was not yet known.

Priester, a right-handed pitcher who has hit the mid-90s mph on speed guns, flew to Pittsburgh on Sunday night with his parents, Andy and Chris Priester. He underwent a physical examination Monday morning, then signed the contract in the late afternoon.

Sam Samardzija, Priester’s agent from Wasserman Media Group, finalized the deal with the Pirates on Monday.

“It went really smooth on both ends,” Priester said Monday night. “We worked it out, I passed my physical, and I’m ready to go, head down to Bradenton [Florida] to try to get better and reach PNC Park.”

Priester said the examination included blood work, MRIs and X-rays. Once that was concluded, the deal was finished. Priester and his parents met with Pirates general manager Neal Huntington and director of scouting Joe DelliCarri to sign the contract.

Priester packed enough clothes to last for a while. He will fly Wednesday to Pirate City in Bradenton and soon will start playing Rookie League games.

“I packed expecting to go to Bradenton from here,” Priester said. “I brought my cleats and glove; they provide everything else. I don’t need a bat anymore.”

Priester said the Pirates’ rookies will play other teams’ rookies in games six times a week. Instructional League will come later after the Pirates have watched their newest players.

Priester was 8-2 with a 1.00 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings while walking 14. He was announced as the Northwest Herald Baseball Player of the Year and as Male Athlete of the Year last week.

Priester (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) is the highest MLB draft pick in history for the McHenry County area.

“[Rookie League] should be a blast,” he said. “Just getting started, a beginning of a whole new chapter, and I just have to work even harder. I’m really excited for the opportunity Mr. Huntington has given me to be a part of such a great organization.”

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