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Pirates Prospects

Paul Skenes to Begin Season with Triple-A Indianapolis

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Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes throws during a baseball spring training workout Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect Paul Skenes will begin the 2024 season with Triple-A Indianapolis, as announced on Twitter/X.

Skenes, the top pick of the 2023 MLB draft out of Louisiana State University, is considered the top pitching prospect in baseball. In addition to being the Pirates’ top prospect, he’s listed as the No. 3 overall farmhand by MLB Pipeline.

Skenes put together a remarkable junior season with LSU, where he helped lead the Tigers to the College World Series. In 122.2 innings across 19 starts, Skenes went 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and struck out an eye-opening 209 batters.

The 21-year-old made five appearances in the Pirates’ minor league system last season after being drafted. He made his debut with the FCL Pirates and made a pair of starts with both Low-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona.

Skenes’ claim to fame is his lively fastball, a pitch that often hits triple digits on the radar gun and is graded as an ’80’ on the 20-80 scouting scale. Skenes features his fastball with a sharp slider that is more than capable of missing bats. He also mixes in a changeup and already possesses plus-control.

The imposing 6-foot-6 right-hander displayed his ever-impressive repertoire during spring training. Skenes made a pair of appearances in the Grapefruit League and allowed one run in three innings. He allowed three hits (one home run), didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.

Skenes was also the starting pitcher in the Spring Breakout game against prospects from the Baltimore Orioles. In that game, he worked a scoreless inning and struck out two batters, one of which was top prospect Jackson Holliday.

There was some debate as to whether Skenes would begin the season back in Double-A Altoona or with Indianapolis, Ultimately, the Pirates opted to send their top prospect to their top minor-league affiliate.

Skenes is projected to make his major-league debut for the Pirates at some point during the 2024 season.

Earlier in the day on Monday, it was learned that fellow top pitching prospect Jared Jones made the Pirates’ opening day roster. Jones is the Pirates’ No. 3 prospect and is also considered one of the top 100 prospects in baseball.

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