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Paul Skenes making Pirates' spring training debut today

Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Feb. 28, 2024
Ireland Contracting Nightly Sports Call: Feb. 28, 2024 16:34

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The long awaited debut of first overall pick Paul Skenes is almost here.

Skenes is expected to make his spring training debut today when the Pirates take on the Baltimore Orioles and newly-acquired ace Corbin Burnes.  

When Skenes takes the mound, fans will get to see a head-to-head battle between the last two first overall picks in the draft as standout shortstop Jackson Holliday will be in the lineup for the Orioles as well. 

The first pitch in today's game is set for 1:05 p.m. in Sarasota. 

Ready to compete

During media availability yesterday, Skenes said he didn't know that he would be facing Burnes or Holliday, but went on to say that he's ready to compete. 

Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he's excited to see Skenes pitch today and expects that the Orioles' lineup will be a good test for him. Skenes is expected to pitch one or two innings in today's game. 

Skenes was selected by the Pirates with the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft after a dynamic junior season at LSU, helping lead his team to the 2023 College World Series title.

2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
OMAHA, NEBRASKA - JUNE 26: Paul Skenes #20 of the LSU Tigers greets fans after winning the NCAA College World Series baseball finals against the Florida Gators at Charles Schwab Field on June 26, 2023 in Omaha, Nebraska. / Getty Images

The Pirates gave Skenes an MLB record $9.2 million signing bonus on the heels of his time at LSU where he posted a record of 13-2 with five shutouts, two complete games, a 1.69 ERA, and an SEC record 209 strikeouts. 

MLB Pipeline ranks Skenes as the #3 prospect in all of baseball. 

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