It’s not every day that a potential first-overall pick gets the chance the take the national spotlight before draft day, but that’s exactly what Paul Skenes has done.
The 6-foot-6 starting pitcher took center stage for Louisiana State University in the recent College World Series. The right-hander was instrumental in helping his team win the tournament over the Florida Gators, their first such victory in 14 seasons.
On the season, Paul Skenes finished with a 12-2 record, an ERA of 1.69, and 209 strikeouts over 122 innings. His continued dominance is leading many to believe that he could very well be the first overall pick in the MLB Draft, scheduled for July 11.
“THE NEW SEC SINGLE-SEASON STRIKEOUT KING. 203 and counting for the great Paul Skenes” – ESPN
For the second time in three seasons, the first overall pick in the MLB Draft will belong to the Pittsburgh Pirates. While it is exceptionally rare for players, especially pitchers, to make the MLB cut in the wake of their draft years, at least one MLB analyst holds that Paul Skenes is the man to do it.
Speaking on the Ballfather Podcast, host Chris Dimino backed up Skenes and claimed that if he were an MLB boss who found Skenes in his organization, he would not hesitate to start him. The insider continued:
“I’m not sending them the rookie ball. He’s coming right to my major league team. I’m not kidding about this.”
No stranger to good pitching, Chros Dimino went on the draw comparisons between Skenes and some past pitching icons. One of the equivalencies dawn was Steven Strasburg, who made the Washington Nationals rotation in 2010 following his selection by the team the year earlier.
Paul Skenes has the potential to change an organization
While players such as Skenes’ LSU teammate Dylan Crews are expected to do very well in the draft, which is to be held next to T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners, the California native will be hard to beat.
A former Air Force cadet, Paul Skenes is known to be one of the hardest workers in the NCAA. His proven abilities on the mound are also an ace card. By actively pursuing a player like Skenes, one lucky team has the potential to shift their entire pitching paradigm around one player and will likely be able to rely on the same strategy for years and decades to come.