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Rookie Sensation Paul Skenes, Outfielder Bryan Reynolds Named Pirates’ 2024 All-Stars

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Paul Skenes, Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Despite being in Triple-A for the first six weeks of the season, Pittsburgh Pirates prized rookie Paul Skenes is headed to the 2024 MLB All-Star Game.

“Paul has done really good things, and I think people in the game have realized that,” manager Derek Shelton said. “It’s a credit to him and it’s a really cool honor that a guy who came up in the middle of May that he has put himself on this platform.”

Skenes will be joined in representing the Pirates in Arlington, Texas, by outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who was named a National League All-Star for the second time in his career.

Ever since debuting on May 11 at PNC Park, Skenes has taken the baseball world by storm with triple-digit fastballs, a nearly-untouchable ‘splinker’ and impressive outing after impressive outing.

In 10 starts since making his major-league debut, Skenes is a perfect 5-0 with with a stellar 2.12 ERA and has recorded 78 strikeouts in 59.1 innings pitched.

Though his time in the big leagues has been limited, Skenes has already emerged as one of the premier starting pitchers across the league.

“I haven’t thought about it a ton up to this point,” Skenes said. “Obviously, starting the year in Triple-A, the odds of going to the Major League All-Star game are pretty slim, so that wasn’t one of my goals necessarily or expectations for this season. It’s just a huge honor that I’m able to do it, after playing just a short span in the big leagues.”

Entering play on Sunday, Skenes’ 2.12 ERA is the third-best mark in baseball. His 75 strikeouts are the third-most and his 33.6% strikeout rate is the fourth-highest in the league.

Because of his performance and the buzz he has created in the last calendar year after the Pirates took him with the top pick in last year’s draft, Skenes is a candidate to be in consideration to start for the National League.

While that decision is entirely out of his control, it would be quite a spectacle to see a pitcher who hadn’t logged a single professional inning this time last year pitch in the Midsummer Classic.

Regardless of when or if he pitches, Skenes, a staunch student of the game, is already looking forward to the experience.

“I’d definitely like to remember as much as possible,” he said. “I imagine it’s probably going to be a blur. There’s a lot happening in a short span of time, with the home run derby and then the All-Star game.

“Just try to meet as many people as possible, pick their brains because you know, the concentration of talent and knowledge at the All-Star game is unlike anything that I’m ever going to experience in my life. So, I’m just gonna want to experience that and learn as much as possible.”

As for Reynolds, he returns to the All-Star Game for the first time since starting for the National League in 2021.

“I wouldn’t say it’s any more special,” Reynolds said on his second-career selection. “It’s a little different. It feels a little different … It’s been a few years since the last one, so it’s nice to know I can still do it.”

Reynolds has been far and away the most consistent lineup presence for the Pirates this season. The 29-year-old has appeared in all 89 games and is batting .281 with an .827 OPS, 19 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs and 54 RBIs.

After a so-so start to the season, Reynolds caught fire in June and holds the longest hitting streak in the majors this season at 25 games. Though the streak was snapped on the final day of June, Reynolds has continued to perform well in July.

Among National League outfielders, Reynolds is first in hits with 101, second in home runs and OPS, third in slugging (.483) as well as fourth in batting average.

“He belongs,” Shelton said on Reynolds “He belongs in the conversation when you’re talking about the best players in the game, and I think he’s proven that. I think baseball has realized that and honored him with the second time.”

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Andrew Bryan

Good choices – now time to awake some more bats!

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