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Pirates Prospects

9 Up, 9 Down for Paul Skenes in Triple-A Debut



Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

Paul Skenes, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top prospect and the top pitching prospect in baseball, made his debut with Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon.

The right-hander threw three-perfect innings in his first start with the Pirates’ top minor-league affiliate. It was his longest outing since joining the organization.

Skenes, who was wearing No. 10 on his jersey, was in complete command from the onset of his first Triple-A start.

For the first out in the first inning, Skenes blew a 100.8 mph fastball by leadoff hitter Jacob Hurtubise with an awkward looking swing from the left-handed hitter.

To show he’s more than just a power-fastball pitcher, Skenes threw a wipeout slider for the third strike to the second batter he faced. A fly out to center field capped off his 1-2-3 first inning.

In the second inning, the flamethrowing Skenes recorded two more strikeouts. Both came on fastballs that were clocked at 100.5 mph. In between the two strikeouts was a pop up down the right field line caught by second baseman Nick Gonzales.

Skenes’ third and final inning began with a groundout to second base. Following the groundout, he struck out Connor Capel on a foul tip snared by battery mate Grant Koch. Skenes capped off his impressive outing by inducing a groundout to third.

Skenes was consistently sitting 99-100 mph with his fastball and topped out at 101.2 mph. He generated 12 swings and misses against the nine batters he faced.

The Pirates opted to start the big right-hander in Indianapolis after three appearances in the Grapefruit League during spring training. In those three appearances, Skenes allowed one run on three hits and struck out three batters.

The prized Pirates’ prospect was also the starting pitcher in the Spring Breakout game against the Baltimore Orioles. In that game, the 21-year-old struck out top prospect Jackson Holliday in a perfect first inning.

If he’s able to keep turning in these kinds of performances to start the season, it won’t be long before we see Paul Skenes in Pittsburgh.

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