Pirates invite Gonzales, Priester to MLB camp
The Pirates have set every button to rebuild mode. This spring, they will get a closer look at the young stars that could form a foundation of their next contender. Pittsburgh extended non-roster invitations to No. 43 overall prospect Nick Gonzales, No. 52 Quinn Priester and 24 other players to
The Pirates have set every button to rebuild mode. This spring, they will get a closer look at the young stars that could form a foundation of their next contender.
Pittsburgh extended non-roster invitations to No. 43 overall prospect Nick Gonzales, No. 52
The announcement comes on the heels of Monday's news that the Major League Baseball Players Association did not accept MLB's proposal for a delayed start to the season that would have included 154 games and an expanded postseason, among other changes. Instead, both Spring Training and the regular season are expected to begin as originally scheduled under the collective bargaining agreement. The Pirates are scheduled to play their first Grapefruit League game on Feb. 28.
Gonzales will join the big-league side as part of his first Spring Training. The 21-year-old middle infielder out of New Mexico State was selected by the Bucs with the seventh overall pick last June. The right-handed slugger put on an incredible show on campus, hitting .399/.502/.747 with 37 homers over 128 games across three seasons. (The Aggies play at a notably hitter-friendly environment.) He was also the MVP of the 2019 Cape Cod Baseball League after standing out against some of the top collegiate arms summer ball has to offer. Despite his previous slugging prowess, Gonzales is expected to show more hit tool than power tool going forward with the former skill projected as plus. He is also an above-average runner, and his experience at both shortstop and second base earn him points for versatility -- something he'll hope to show off in Bradenton.
Priester, a 2019 first-rounder, jumped into MLB.com's Top 100 rankings for the first time this offseason on the strength of impressive displays at the alternate site and instructs in 2020. The 6-foot-3 right-hander can throw in the mid-to-upper-90s with a good spin rate on his fastball, while his curve also projects as a plus pitch. Priester could take another jump in the coming season as he gains more professional experience. As things stand, he only has 36 2/3 innings on his Minor League resume, split between the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues in his Draft year.
Pittsburgh invited seven other prospects in its top-30 rankings to Spring Training camp on Tuesday: No. 5
The other non-roster invitees are
A's add McCann to invite list: Also on Tuesday, Oakland added its No. 23 prospect,
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.