2023 MLB Draft Profile: Paul Skenes
We’re keeping the 2023 MLB Draft Profiles going as we make our way to our first pitcher of this class: LSU pitching prospect Paul Skenes. His teammate Dylan Crews is also a highly rated prospect, likely to be taken No. 1 overall. Check out his Draft profile here.
When first looking at Skenes you have to take note of his size as a pitcher. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, Skenes is a scary sight on that mound. Similar to Randy Johnson, you become fearful of him before you even step into the batter’s box.
Skenes was a two-way player at LSU and showed a real ability to drive the ball. But with how dominant he is as a pitcher, he’s making the wise decision to focus on that.
Paul Skenes uses his huge frame to pump his plus fastball by most batters. It currently sits at an average of 98 mph with some serious run. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as a perfect 80/80 according to MLB. It’s easily his best pitch and should find him a lot of success.
Along with that elite fastball, Skenes has a great slider that he typically uses as his put-away pitch. It has improved each season and currently sits at about 85-89 mph with some serious break. He also has a changeup that he’s been working on, but it needs more work before it’s an MLB-ready pitch.
Along with the changeup, Skene’s biggest weakness is his control, which isn’t too surprising with just how hard he throws.
When looking at Skenes, I see a lot of what I saw in Andrew Painter when he was drafted. A physically imposing specimen with an almost effortless delivery. Both have plus-plus fastballs that serve as their best pitch with room for improvement in the offspeed department.
I’m expecting big things from Paul Skenes. He has almost the perfect build for a pitcher and has proven that with his play thus far. He will be the first pitcher taken and whoever does end up with end will likely be getting an ace of the future.
If he can fix his control I don’t see how Skenes doesn’t succeed at the big league level. While his fastball can already complete at the MLB level in terms of velocity, it means nothing if you can’t throw it for a strike. But I seriously doubt that will be the case for Skenes.
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