MLB Pipeline is going position by position, releasing their top 10 prospects at each spot in advance of unveiling their preseason top 100 prospects list.
On Tuesday, they announced their top 10 right-handed pitching prospects, and Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand Paul Skenes is atop the list.
Skenes was selected by the Pirates with the first-overall pick in the 2023 draft out of Louisiana State University after a dominant season. Last year with the Tigers, the big right-hander was 12-2 with a superb 1.69 ERA across 19 starts. In 122.2 innings pitched, he struck out 209 batters and walked 20.
Due to his heavy workload in college, the Pirates were cautious with the 21-year-old to begin his professional career. Skenes split time between the Pirates’ rookie league, Single-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona and combined to make five starts.
In those five starts, Skenes posted a 5.40 ERA (4er/6.2ip), though all four of those runs came in one rough outing while with the Altoona Curve. Additionally, he struck out 10 batters and walked a pair.
Pipeline also gives Skenes’ the top fastball among right-handed pitching prospects with a perfect 80-grade on the 20-80 scouting scale. His 70-grade slider is also tied for the best with three other pitching prospects — Jackson Jobe (Tigers), Cade Horton (Cubs) and Jacob Misiorowski (Brewers).
Skenes is considered to be the top prospect of the Pittsburgh Pirates and is one of the top overall prospects in baseball, regardless of position.