by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Tiger Bait.
The Pittsburgh Pirates passed on a “generational” outfielder to select a “generational” pitcher in Paul Skenes out of LSU. In a draft class with two “can’t miss” players at the top, the Bucs chose to add a future ace to their pitching ranks, passing on bolstering their woeful stable of outfield prospects.
Skenes is a 6’6” fireball right-handed pitcher who can hit 100 mph regularly from the mound. He has an above average slider to mix with his fastball, making him an elite strikeout pitcher. And his stuff has been compared by many to Stephen Strasburg. As the SEC Pitcher of the Year, Skenes averaged over 15 strikeouts per nine innings and maintained an ERA of 1.69. In 2023, Skenes went 12-2 and struck out an amazing 209 hitters. If Skenes is signed immediately, there are scouts who believe he could be in the majors as soon as 2024.
Draft 412 is on record suggesting the Pirates should prioritize Dylan Crews over Skenes because of the lack of organizational depth at the position. However, Skenes is the best pitching prospect in this draft and will add to the Bucs arsenal of arms sooner rather than later.
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