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Pirates Prospect Update: Paul Skenes the New No. 1

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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)

Is Paul Skenes the best prospect in all of baseball? The worldwide leader in sports thinks so.

ESPN updated their rankings for the top 50 MLB prospects, promoting the Pirates’ flamethrower to the No. 1 spot. He remains in the No. 2 spot per MLB Pipeline, which gives the crown to Jackson Holliday of the Baltimore Orioles.

Baltimore called Holliday up in early April but the infielder struggled mightily, managing just two hits in 34 at-bats before the Orioles sent him back down to Triple-A. As such, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Skenes surpass him for the No. 1 spot in MLB’s rankings as well, especially if he continues to shred opposing batters like he did in his last start.

After a shaky big league debut, Skenes recorded the first decision of his professional career on Friday, locking down the Cubs for six no-hit innings. He also struck out 11 batters.

Although Paul Skenes is in the big leagues now, he’ll retain his prospect status until he reaches fifty innings pitched or has spent 45 days on the Pirates’ 26-man roster. He currently sits at ten innings pitched since Pittsburgh called him up on May 9, compiling a 2.70 ERA with 18 strikeouts in that span… good for an otherworldly average of 16.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

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