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The Pirates first round pick in 2019, Quinn Priester spent his first full season of professional baseball in the hitter’s haven of Greensboro last year, and he has home/away splits to prove it (3.99 ERA at home, 2.15 on the road).
Widely considered on of the best pitching prospects in the game, Priester will likely spend the majority of the season in the much more pitching friendly confines in Altoona. The numbers didn’t exactly speak to Priester’s success, posting a 3.04 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings.
Not bad numbers, just maybe not what you would expect out of a pitcher as highly regarded as he is.
As he looks to take the next step in his progression, he’s going to have some familiar help behind him. After spending the year with him in Greensboro, you can expect Liover Peguero to join him in Altoona as well.
Here is them teaming up together to get a Baltimore hitter out.
I think I’m in prospect heaven…Joey Ortiz grounds out to Liover Peguero off Quinn Priester🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/pWHtasK4pb
— Eric_Birdland (@Eric_Birdland) March 26, 2022
Peguero is able to corral the grounder and throw out the runner. Not only is it a look at things to come in Altoona, the hope this will carry all the way to Pittsburgh someday in the near future.
Here’s a look back at one of Priester’s starts during the 2021 season. It looked like it was going to be a rough outing, allowing the first three hitters on base, but Priester dug deep and got out of the inning without allowing a run.
He took off from there, and actually turned it into one of his better, if not best, starts of the year. He struck the 10 batters in the game, at the time the highest of the season (would later strike out 13 a coupe of weeks later). Priester also tied a season high seven innings pitched that day.
The breakout star of 2021 in the Pirates’ system, Fraizer is out to further cement his status as one of the Pirates’ top prospects this year.
Matt Fraizer Solo Home Run
Spring training homers still count in my book lol pic.twitter.com/X4wi4TY5aB
— jacob fraizer ⚾️ (@jayspanks) March 26, 2022
Off to a pretty good start it looks like. Fraizer finished 2021 with a batting slash of .306/.388/.552 with 23 home runs and 68 RBIs along with 15 stolen bases between Greensboro and Altoona.
With a crowded outfield picture on the 40-man roster likely to trickle down to Indianapolis, Fraizer could start out in Altoona in 2022, where he played in 37 games last year.
Speaking of outfielders on the 40-man, Canaan Smith-Njigba may not make the major league roster immediately, but is battling to put himself in position to be one of the first to get called up.
Thanks to Rick Ford on IG, we have footage of the Canaan Smith-Njigba homer today. Crack of the bat was magnificent! pic.twitter.com/l77chkQJt8
— Cody Potanko (@2HG013) March 27, 2022
Not a bad way to throw his hat out there. Acquired in the the Jameson Taillon trade, Smith-Njigba played the majority of the year with the Curve, ending the year with Indianapolis. The lefty hit .258/.381/.379 with six home runs, 42 RBIs and mixed in 13 stolen bases.
He was sent to the Arizona Fall League in the offseason before being added to the 40-man roster.+ posts
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.