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Paul Skenes Makes Professional Debut; Strikes Out Fellow First-Rounder

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

Almost exactly a month after the Pittsburgh Pirates made him the first-overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes took the mound as a professional for the very first time.

Skenes was the starting pitcher for the FCL Pirates in their matchup with the FCL Twins on Thursday afternoon.

The 21-year-old tossed a 1-2-3 first inning which was capped off by striking out outfielder Walker Jenkins, who was drafted fifth overall by Minnesota in this year’s draft.

That was the lone inning of work for the 6-foot-6 right-hander.

Eight of Skenes’ 11 pitches went for strikes while his fastball sat between 99-101 mph with seven pitches hitting triple-digits on the radar gun.

With the LSU Tigers this season prior to being drafted, Skenes went 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA in 19 starts. In 122.2 innings, Skenes allowed only 72 hits, walked 20 and struck out an impressive 209 batters.

The right-hander was considered the top player available in this year’s draft according to MLB Pipeline. 

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