Quinn Priester a Perfect Fit for Pittsburgh Pirates at #18 Overall

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It’s very rare that a Chicagoland product gets selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, so Monday night brought blockbuster local sports news when Cary-Grove High School’s Quinn Priester was picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 18th overall selection. 

This is exactly where he was projected to go, given the overall consensus of the MLB mock drafts out there. MLB.com ranked him the 19th overall prospect in this class, so he was selected right where the betting sites believed he should have been taken. And the Pirates (who selected a high school right handed pitcher for the third straight year) aren’t getting just a great pitcher, but also a good dude. Watch the video below:

Priester has done a great amount of volunteer work, where he has undertaken initiatives to fight hunger, visited local youth baseball and football programs, and read to elementary school students.

“Before the football season I got the chance to speak with an 11U football team, the Cary Trojans,” Quinn Priester told us by phone in our exclusive interview last week.

“I thought that was really really cool.”

“With my dad and sister, we went out and packed food and lunches for the homeless people in Chicago, during the Under Armour game (at Wrigley Field last summer) we did a little camp with the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, and it was really special to expose those kids in the inner city, who aren’t very familiar with baseball, to the sport that we all love.”

quinn priester

If you watched the MLB Draft on MLB Network, then you might have noticed how all the guys on the desk kept talking about just how much Priester is liked by all the analysts at the network. There was even a joke about the MLB Net talking heads fighting about who likes this kid more.

Analyst Harold Reynolds raved about Priester’s athleticism.

“An athlete is going to be able to bounce off the mound, to make adjustments, so I love this kid, I love this pick,” he said.

Heading into the draft, a fair amount of mock drafts labeled Priester as a “cold weather pitcher,” and it’s notable given how he’s the first prep pitcher from Illinois selected in the first round since 2010.

“I live up there, the weather is terrible, and this guy, no matter what the conditions were came out every time this spring, and good outing after good outing,” said MLB Network’s Jim Callis.

“I just think he has a high ceiling.”

Pitching in different types of weather is something we discussed with Priester last week.

“When it’s warmer, you just feel looser, but when it’s colder you have a tendency to tighten up so there’s definitely a difference between pitching in the cold and warm weather,” he said, “but I also think I have an advantage pitching in the cold because my arm is prepared for that, and it puts my arm through different amounts of stress and I think it will only help me in the long run.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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