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Pittsburgh’s Paul Skenes moving through the Minors quickly

Altoona has a new pitcher, as the Pirates’ top prospect Paul Skenes is set to debut Saturday.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Pittsburgh Pirates
The top choice in the draft, Paul Skenes is being promoted to Double-A Altoona.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates newest pitcher, Paul Skenes, is already halfway through the Minor Leagues as he is now being promoted to Double-A Altoona, with the expectation that he makes his debut on Saturday.

Skenes is the number three overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and has wasted no time showing why he was taken first overall in this years draft. In his three appearances between rookie level ball and Single-A Bradenton, the former Air Force Falcon and LSU Tiger has been nearly flawless, only allowing one hit, zero walks, and four scoreless frames.

Pirates’ manager Derek Shelton has been monitoring the progression of the young pitcher and said the promotion is all a part of that process.

“I think as we’ve gone through the year, we knew there was going to be a progression to where he was going to go, and we’re just taking another step in the progression.”

The impressive start to his minor league career is coming off the heels of one of the best seasons by a college pitcher as well, as Skenes helped lead the LSU Tigers to capturing the College World Series. Skenes would also lead NCAA Division I in strikeouts (209, breaking Ben McDonald’s school and SEC record) compiling a 12-2 record with a 1.69 ERA.

Skenes should be able to make a handful of appearances in Altoona with roughly four weeks left in their season. With that being said, he is not expected to be pitching more than a couple of innings in each appearance this season, with GM Ben Cherington stating that it’s most important that he gets some experience before seasons end.

“We think it’s helped him be fully engaged in the work between starts and have a more normal pitcher experience even if we’re being conservative with the volume, then help him get into a normal offseason to prepare to be a starting pitcher in 2024, wherever that begins.”

Skenes is expected to debut for the Curve on Saturday against Akron, as he continues ripping through the minor leagues enroute to Pittsburgh.