After making his professional debut in the Florida Complex League last week, Paul Skenes took a step up the ladder and made his debut with the Bradenton Marauders on Tuesday night.
Wearing No. 39, Skenes took the mound at LECOM Park against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
After allowing a leadoff single to Lakeland center fielder Seth Stephenson, Skenes proceeded to strikeout the next two batters he faced. Stephenson was tagged out after a brief rundown between third base and home plate for the third and final out of the inning.
In the first inning, Skenes threw 16 pitches, 10 of which were for strikes. He featured an upper-90s fastball — he hit 100 mph once — and a sharp slider which induced a check swing for strike three against Lakeland three-hole hitter Jim Jarvis.
As he did in his first pro start, the right-hander worked only the one inning.
In his professional debut in the FCL, Skenes tossed a perfect 1-2-3 inning and struck out fellow first-round draft pick Walker Jenkins of the Minnesota Twins.
The 2023 first-overall pick is the top Pirates’ prospect and the No. 3 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. In addition, he’s also considered to be the top pitching prospect in the league.