Rodriguez and Priester Headline Young Bucs Awards
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced catcher Endy Rodriguez and right-handed pitcher Quinn Priester as their Young Bucs Honus Wagner Player of the Year and Bob Friend Pitcher of the Year. They are two of four players from Indy’s 2022 roster selected as award winners, joined by outfielder and
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced catcher Endy Rodriguez and right-handed pitcher Quinn Priester as their Young Bucs Honus Wagner Player of the Year and Bob Friend Pitcher of the Year. They are two of four players from Indy’s 2022 roster selected as award winners, joined by outfielder and Fishers, Ind. native Matt Gorski (Willie Stargell Slugger of the Year) and right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz (Manny Sanguillen Teammate of the Year).
Rodriguez, 22, led all Pirates farmhands with a .323 average, .407 on-base percentage, .590 slugging percentage, .997 OPS, 148 hits, 92 runs, 39 doubles, 95 RBI, 68 extra-base hits and 270 total bases in 125 total games between High-A Greensboro (88), Double-A Altoona (31) and Indianapolis (6) this season. In those categories, he finished among Minor League leaders in OPS (5th), doubles (T-6th), slugging percentage (8th), extra-base hits (T-8th) and total bases (T-9th).
He made his Triple-A debut at Victory Field on Sept. 20 and hit safely in five of six games while tallying seven RBI over his first three contests. Thanks to four multi-hit performances, Rodriguez recorded a .455 average (10-for-22), four extra-base hits and eight RBI. In his final game of the season on Sept. 28 at Columbus, he launched his first Triple-A home run.
Rodriguez, a native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, was originally signed by New York (NL) as a non-drafted free agent in 2018. He was traded to the Pirates from the Mets in a three-team, seven-player deal that saw left-handed pitcher Joey Lucchesi go from San Diego to New York (NL), right-handed pitcher Joe Musgrove go from Pittsburgh to San Diego, and right-handed pitchers David Bednar and Drake Fellows, left-handed pitcher Omar Cruz and outfielder Hudson Head go from San Diego to Pittsburgh.
Priester, 22, spent the majority of the season with Altoona before making his Triple-A debut on Sept. 21, when he earned the win over St. Paul with 5.0 two-hit innings and six strikeouts. In 19 total starts between Single-A Bradenton (1), Greensboro (1), Altoona (15) and Indy (2), he went 5-5 with a 3.29 ERA (33er/90.1ip) and 89 strikeouts. Since June 9, when his season officially began following an oblique injury, he led all qualifying Pirates farmhands in ERA, strikeouts, games started, innings pitched and average against (.234), and trailed Ortiz for the second-best WHIP (1.21).
The Glendale Heights, Ill. native was selected by Pittsburgh as the 18th overall pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Cary-Grove (Ill.) High School.
Gorski, 24, appeared in 80 games between Bradenton (5), Greensboro (37) and Altoona (38) before making his Triple-A debut on Sept. 20. Across all four levels, he hit .280 (80-for-286) with 24 home runs and 21 stolen bases. At the time of a quad injury that sidelined him from June 30 until he started a rehab assignment with Bradenton on Aug. 30, he led all Pirates minor leaguers with 23 home runs – 11 more than anyone else – 60 RBI, a .664 slugging percentage, 1.039 OPS, 37 extra-base hits, 156 total bases and 56 runs. By the end of the season, he ranked among farmhands in homers (3rd), RBI (6th, 66), extra-base hits (6th, 29) and runs (T-9th, 62).
A 2016 graduate of Hamilton Southeastern High School and Indiana University product, Gorski was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round (57th overall) of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft.
Ortiz, 23, spent most of the season with Altoona before rising to Triple-A and the major leagues in September. In 26 minor league games (25 starts) between Altoona (24 games/23 starts) and Indianapolis (2), he ranked among Pirates farmhands in innings pitched (1st, 124.1), ERA (1st, 4.56), WHIP (1st, 1.14), average against (1st, .227), strikeouts (2nd, 138) and games started (T-2nd).
In his second career Triple-A start on Sept. 8 at Omaha, Ortiz tossed 6.0 no-hit innings with nine strikeouts and flashed triple digits on his fastball throughout the game. The dominant performance led to him being named the International League Pitcher of the Week on Sept. 12, one day before being selected by Pittsburgh to make his major league debut. He was Indy’s first Pitcher of the Week recipient since Mitch Keller from July 8-14, 2019.
Ortiz was signed by Pittsburgh as a non-drafted free agent on Oct. 2, 2018.