PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Pirates No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes will not pitch again this season after he was placed on the development list.
“We’re excited and encouraged by the positive things Paul has been able to accomplish in his short time in the Pirates organization,” general manager Ben Cherington said. “He’s checked all of the boxes we aimed for him to check during the 2023 season. The goal now is to focus on a complete off-season in preparation for his first full professional year in 2024.”
The Pirates chose Skenes out of Louisiana State University, where the right hander logged 122.2 innings. With the Tigers, he was 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA with 209 strikeouts.
After joining the Pirates’ organization, Skenes split his time between the FCL Pirates in the rookie league, Single-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona.
A rough debut with the Altoona Curve inflated Skenes’ ERA to 5.40 overall, but in four of his five appearances, the Pirates’ prospect pitched scoreless outings.
The original plan was to have Skenes pitch around 20 innings, but in total between the three levels, he pitched 6.2 innings, allowed four runs on five hits, two walks and struck out 10 batters. He limited opposing batters to a .192 batting average against.
In his time in the minor leagues this year, Skenes showcased his power fastball which sat in the upper-90s and touched triple digits, as well as his sharp slider. Those two offerings headline his arsenal.
Skenes also offers a changeup which showed the ability to miss bats and keep hitters off balance.
He was scheduled to pitch on Thursday for Altoona, but will no longer be taking the mound.
Skenes is considered to be the Pirates’ top overall prospect, the No. 3 prospect in the league and the top pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.