EXCLUSIVE: Paul Skenes Rated Alongside All-Time Greats – Is He MLB Ready?

Published 01/20/2024, 9:10 AM EST

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One still remembers June 8, 2010 – the year Stephen Strasburg debuted. The most hyped pitching debut in the major leagues, Strasburg shook the world that day with 14 strikeouts. Fans often wondered if they would ever witness a scene like that, the hype, the talent, and the extraordinary performance. In an Exclusive interview with EssentiallySports top analyst Jim Callis compared top prospect Paul Skenes to Strasburg and had surprising things to say about the young pitcher.

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Paul Skenes has been the center of attention ever since he signed Pittsburgh Pirates picked him as a first draft and gave him a $9.2 million bonus. Often referred to as the best pitching prospect since Strasburg, Skenes is expected to debut sooner rather than later. Jim Callis shared how he sees the pitcher’s debut season unfold.

Paul Skenes “ is interesting” says Jim Callis 

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Paul Skenes has commanded the baseball world’s attention ever since his outstanding performance in the Men’s College World Series. The sheer power of his fastballs plus his impressive changeups lit up every baseball enthusiast’s imagination. During an Exclusive interview with EssentiallySports, Jim Callis noted the high ceiling of Skenes and called him 1B of Stephen Strasburg.

“If you look the draft, the baseball draft has been around since 1965 and I talked to a bunch of people and I think the two best pitching prospects in draft history, 1A and 1B I would put Stephen Strasburg slightly ahead, but I think Paul Skenes is right there with him,” Callis said.

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Callis had previously mentioned how he doesn’t see Skenes becoming a starter immediately. “Skenes is interesting. I think he’s gonna be the big leagues really quick…I don’t think he’ll make the opening roster, but I think he’ll be up by June.” Talking about Skenes’ unorthodox technique, Callis reminded everyone that it wasn’t hurting his production. 

“He (Skenes) can maintain a 98-mile-an-hour fastball, a hundred plus pitches into a game, throw 102. It’s not the greatest…like the one knock you’ll hear on him is, Oh, it’s not the best fastball shape, but he commands his fastball so well. It’s not like he’s making mistakes with it. His sliders, one of the best sliders in baseball,” Callis declared. 

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With most experts looking forward to Skenes’ debut, the hype is slowly increasing among the fans as well. Skenes started as an explosive hitter until his college coaches realized the immense pitching potential in him. With the pitcher rocking the world at just the age of 21, one only wonders how high his star can rise. Skenes has already recreated much of Strasburg’s hype. Now one waits to see whether he creates the legend’s impact or not.

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Written by:

Sanskar Dubey

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“Rigidity leads to demise, while adaptability paves the path to vitality." Driven by a deep passion for sports, I’m glad I found baseball. Now serving as an MLB writer at EssentiallySports, I love to write about the thrilling tussle between the National League and American League throughout the season, although I may have a fondness for a particular Yankees icon named Alex Rodriguez.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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