What to expect from Endy Rodríguez and Quinn Priester in the Majors

All of the Pittsburgh youngsters are within the pool.

The Pirates are calling up two Top 100 prospects this week in No. 35 Endy Rodriguez and no. 53 Quinn’s Justice delos Santos reported over the weekend. Each will make their Main League debuts with Priester slated to begin on the mound for the Bucs on Monday in opposition to the Guardians at PNC Park. With No. 27 Henry Davis additionally within the bigs, three of Pittsburgh’s 5 High 100 representatives will probably be in The Present as of this week.

Acquired as a minor piece from the Mets in a three-team deal involving Joe Musgrove and David Bednar in 2021, Rodríguez has represented one of many Pirates’ largest growth success tales over the past two-and-a-half seasons. After a robust Single-A season in 2021, the switch-hitting catcher had his true breakout final yr, when he hit .323/.407/.590 with 25 homers over 125 video games throughout the Excessive-A, Double-A and Triple-A ranges. Rodríguez returned to Indianapolis this season and noticed his slash line dip to .268/.356/.415 in his first 67 contests, however he had been scorching of late, selecting a number of hits in 4 of his final 5 video games and going 22-for-59 (.373) with extra extra-base hits (eight) than strikeouts (seven) since June 23.

The 23-year-old has nonetheless proven a stable method that prioritizes contact, highlighted by a 14.9 % strikeout charge that ranks Eleventh-lowest amongst 112 Triple-A qualifiers in 2023. He’ll typically take his walks too — expertise that ought to ease his transition to the Majors.

Rodríguez’s energy has dropped with solely seven homers thus far in 2023, and his 31.6 % hard-hit charge (i.e. proportion of batted balls with exit velocities above 95 mph) would rank final amongst Pirates qualifiers. With a 108.9 mph max exit velocity, Rodríguez does present some uncooked energy although, so tapping extra into that could possibly be a precedence in The Present.

The Pirates have been huge followers of the Dominican Republic native’s normal athleticism since selecting him up two years in the past, and the group has given him seems to be at first, second and left subject within the current previous. His non-catching duties have been restricted to first base this season, nonetheless, and even then, he’s solely moved from behind the plate eight instances in 59 defensive begins in ’23.

With Henry Davis formally a full-time proper fielder, the Pittsburgh catching corps may definitely use Rodríguez’s enhancing bat; coming into Sunday, Pirates catchers sat final within the Majors with a collective 47 wRC+. And on the opposite aspect of the coin, Rodríguez – who has thrown out solely seven of fifty tried basestealers this summer season — may use being round veteran defensive star Austin Hedges, the Majors’ greatest framer in 2023.

That’s one aspect of the brand new battery. Priester’s arrival, which was introduced first over the weekend, brings as a lot pleasure for what he can deliver to the Bucs rotation.

The 22-year-old right-hander has lengthy flashed potential since Pittsburgh chosen him 18th total out of an Illinois highschool in 2019. He reached Indianapolis for a quick cameo final season and returned to the Worldwide League with a 4.31 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings this yr.

Like Rodríguez, he made a stable remaining push to The Present with a season-high 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings on June 24 and a 2023-best 7 1/3 frames (that includes 94 pitches and no walks) on July 6. Notably, he was the second-youngest certified pitcher on the Minors’ highest degree behind D-backs southpaw Blake Walston, additionally 22.

Priester works with each a four-seam and two-seam fastball that run round 91-94 mph. The sinking two-seamer has been notably useful at producing weak wormburners with Priester rating second in Triple-A with a 53.8 % groundball charge. His 83-86 mph slider has been his major breaking pitch and can generate swing-and-misses with two-plane motion. A extra vertical-dropping upper-70s curveball can get whiffs too, and a few evaluators desire it as his greatest secondary. He makes use of an upper-80s changeup nearly completely in opposition to lefties, nevertheless it doesn’t have fairly sufficient separation to be actually efficient.

The 6-foot-3 hurler possesses simply common management, however walks shouldn’t be a significant concern on the high degree. Various the five-pitch combine sufficient to maintain hitters off-balance and persevering with to maintain the ball on the bottom after they do make contact would be the keys to Priester persevering with his run of current success within the bigs.

A nice shock early within the season, Pittsburgh has fallen 10 1/2 video games again in each the NL Central and Wild Card races. The arrivals of Rodríguez and Priester alone are extremely unlikely to assist overcome such huge playoff-spot deficits, however they will deliver boosts of vitality because the group makes an attempt to show the nook for 2024 and past with homegrown prospects main the cost.

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Printed : 2023-07-17 02:51:28

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