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Pirates Spring Preview: Paul Skenes Faces Holliday, Orioles in Battle of Top Prospects



Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

Paul Skenes will take the mound for the first time in the Grapefruit League with the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota on Thursday at 1:05 ET.

It’s a tall task for last year’s first pick. Not only will he duel with 2021 National League Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes, but he will face the game’s top prospect Jackson Holliday. Holliday will bat leadoff for Baltimore and play second base.

Skenes logged 6.2 innings between three different levels after he was selected No. 1 by the Pirates. Holiday, meanwhile, was drafted with the top pick in the 2022 draft by the Orioles. Holiday and Skenes rank as the No. 1 and No. 3 prospects by MLB Pipeline, respectively.

The Pirates will have a handful of regulars in their lineup and Henry Davis will serve as Skenes’ battery mate. Davis and Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman will start at catcher for their respective clubs. Both backstops are former first-overall draft picks.

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup

  1. Oneil Cruz SS
  2. Jack Suwinski CF
  3. Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B
  4. Rowdy Tellez 1B
  5. Henry Davis C
  6. Edward Olivares RF
  7. Liover Peguero DH
  8. Canaan Smith-Njigba LF
  9. Nick Gonzales 2B

Burnes’ start against the Pirates (1-4) will be his second as a member of the Orioles (5-1). He already has a scoreless inning under his belt this spring.

In addition to winning the ’21 Cy Young, Burnes has been an All-Star each of the past three seasons. The right-hander went 10-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 32 starts last season with the Brewers.

The game will be available to be watched as a webcast on


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