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Pirates’ Paul Skenes breaks silence on MLB promotion

In July 2023, the Pittsburgh Pirates made Paul Skenes the No. 1 pick in that year’s draft. Just one season later, Skenes is now ready to make his major league debut.

Pittsburgh calls up its top prospect, with Skenes scheduled to start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Looking at the Pirates pitching staff early in the season, Skenes couldn’t be more amplified to join their ranks, via Alex Stumpf of MLB.com.

“It’s really fun to watch,” Skenes said. “I’ve obviously been watching as a fan for about a month. But yes, I’m excited.

Top prospect said the day he found out He was called, he was in the middle of a nap. He missed three calls from his manager. Once he finally returned them, the two sides had some playful banter before it was revealed that Skenes had received the first major league call-up of his career, via Noah Hiles of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Observing Pittsburgh’s pitching rotation, Skenes saw a unit that was significantly improved from the previous season. The Pirates rank 11th in the league with a 3.70 ERA. Their .231 batting average ranks 10th while their 113 walks allowed are ninth lowest in the league.

The Pirates were led by rookie sensation Jared Jones. Now, Paul Skenes is ready to give Pittsburgh another impressive young gun in its rotation.

How Paul Skenes earned his call to the Pirates

    Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (30) in the fourth inning of the spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays at CoolToday Park.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Even before joining Pittsburgh, Skenes wowed at the college level with LSU. After transferring from Air Force for the 2023 season, Skenes compiled a 13-2 record with a 1.69 ERA and a 209/20 K/BB ratio. The Pirates saw everything they needed to make him the No. 1 overall pick.

And the right-hander quickly proved why Pittsburgh was right in its decision. He worked his way up to Double-A in his first professional baseball career. Skenes then began the 2024 season at Triple-A, where he posted a 0.99 ERA and 45/8 K/BB ratio over his seven starts.

His work both at LSU and in the minors caught the attention of many MLB evaluators. Skenes ranks as the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates organization and No. 3 overall in all of baseball, via MLB Pipeline. Now Pittsburgh is ready to see what it has in Paul Skenes.

His arrival comes at a time when the Pirates are struggling to stay afloat in the NL Central. At 17-21 and losing seven of their last ten games, Pittsburgh is 5.5 games behind the division lead Milwaukee Brewers.

On Saturday, the Pirates will have ample opportunity to catch up with the second-place Cubs. All eyes will be on Skenes as he makes his MLB debut. If this goes as well as the Pirates and Skenes hope, those eyes will continue to watch the potential star for the remainder of the major league season.