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BREAKING: Pirates Promoting Top Prospect Paul Skenes to Pitch Saturday

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

The wait is finally over. The Pittsburgh Pirates are promoting prized pitching prospect Paul Skenes from Triple-A Indianapolis.

Skenes will make his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday at 4:05 ET at PNC Park.

Skenes, who turns 22 later this month, was the first-overall pick by the Pirates in the 2023 draft after a superb season at LSU. The Pirates signed him for $9.2 million, setting a new draft record. 

In his lone season with the Tigers after transferring from the Air Force Academy, Skenes helped lead his team to the College World Series. He finished the year at 13-2 with a sparkling 1.69 ERA in 19 starts and struck out 209 of the 462 batters he faced.

After he was drafted, the Pirates fast tracked the big right-hander from the FCL to Double-A Altoona, where he ended the 2023 season.

Skenes has spent this year with Triple-A Indianapolis and posted a 0.99 ERA through seven starts. In 27.1 innings, he struck out 45 batters, walked eight and held opponents to a .175 batting average. 

Skenes’ debut with the Pirates has been anticipated from the very moment Ken Griffey Jr. announced his selection at last year’s draft. He was immediately labeled as a prospect who would be quick to reach the big leagues. 

MLB Pipeline not only considers the 6-foot-6 righty to be the Pirates’ top prospect in the organization, but the best pitching prospect in baseball and the third-best prospect overall.

Skenes possesses a power fastball that routinely hits triple digits on the radar gun. He also features a sharp slider and a changeup that continues to improve. 

There hasn’t been a debut that has been as anticipated as Skenes’ since fellow No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole made his first Pirates’ start in 2013. Perhaps Skenes’ debut has generated even more buzz than Cole’s 11 years ago. 

Get ready Pirates’ fans, the anointed savior of the franchise is ready to help revive a dormant organization and try and lead them to their first postseason appearance since 2015. 

It all begins with start No. 1 against the Cubs this weekend. 

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