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Will Baseball’s Next Big Thing, Paul Skenes, Join the Pittsburgh Pirates?

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Yonhap News

One of the most highly anticipated prospects in American professional baseball is finally making his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut.

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on the 9th that they plan to call up Paul Skenes (21), a fastball pitcher who is playing in Triple-A, and start the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on the 11th.

Skenes is a top prospect who was selected by Pittsburgh as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 rookie draft.

Standing at 6 feet 6 inches, the right-handed pitcher Skenes drew a lot of attention during his time at Louisiana State University by throwing fastballs at a top speed of 102 mph.

Skenes, who led his university to win the National University Sports Association (NCAA) last year, showed off his excellent skills by recording 13 wins and 2 losses and an ERA of 1.69.

Pittsburgh, which drafted Skenes, dubbed the ‘future Cy Young pitcher,’ signed him on a contract for a record-breaking draft amount of $9.2 million.

USA Today Sports=Yonhap News

Skenes has also shown overwhelming performance in the minor leagues.

After signing in August of last year, he was promoted to Double-A in just over a month, passing through the Rookie League and Single-A.

Starting this season in Triple-A, Skenes has recorded an average ERA of 0.99, allowing only 3 runs in 27⅓ innings over 7 games.

He also had 45 strikeouts and allowed only eight walks, showing excellent control.

Skenes, who primarily threw fastballs and sliders in college, has been praised for adding a changeup, a curveball, and a ‘splinker’ (a mix of a splitter and a sinker) to his arsenal in the minor leagues, strengthening his pitch variety.

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