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The Pirates take Paul Skenes with the first pick in the 2023 draft

The Pirates take Paul Skenes with the first pick in the 2023 draft

With the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Louisiana right-hander Paulskins.

Skenes is considered the best pitching prospect at the college level since Stephen Strasburg, and is the most sought-after pitcher of all time among college prospects. The electrified arsenal Skeens displayed at LSU is reminiscent of the Strasburg experience of his San Diego State days. Like Strasburg, Skenes has a powerful three-digit fastball and a smashing break game, his slider.

The 6-foot-2, 21-year-old pitcher completed one of the most dominant college seasons ever for the national champion Tigers. Skenes went 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and led all of NCAA Division 1 with 209 strikeouts in 122.2 innings pitched, 50 strikeouts more than the next closest pitcher.

“Knowing Paul, what you understand is that from his background, you expect discipline, a work ethic, and a great teammate. Those are all things you expect,” said Pirates general manager Ben Chirrington. “But what you also learn from Paul when you get to know him is that he has a thirst for improvement. Not only willing, but wanting to take up a challenge, whether it’s going to the Air Force Academy after high school or transferring to [Conferencia del Sureste] for his draft year. Whatever it is, he’ll go find her.”

Skenes is the first player in history to win a CWS title, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, and ranked first overall in the MLB draft that same year.

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