With one other season slipping away, Pittsburgh Pirates followers are once more caught wanting towards the long run. A big a part of that future is predicted to be pitcher Paul Skenes, the No. 1 general decide within the 2023 MLB Draft.
On Tuesday, the Pirates formally began his path to the most important leagues by signing him to his first professional contract that options a record $9.2 million signing bonus.
That bonus exceeds the earlier report of $8.42 million signed by Detroit’s Spencer Torkelson after he was picked No. 1 general within the 2020 draft.
The Pirates had the highest decide this yr after successful MLB’s first draft lottery, and there was a prolonged debate as to whom they’d absorb that spot. Skenes and his LSU teammate, outfielder Dylan Crews, had been the consensus high two prospects within the class, however there was additionally hypothesis the Pirates would possibly choose to go in a special route (like highschool outfielder Max Clark) so as to get a decrease signing bonus after which unfold the financial savings out over the remainder of their draft class.
Ultimately, the Pirates went with Skenes off of a dominant season for LSU.
Skenes is among the finest pitching prospects to come back out of the NCAA since Stephen Strasburg went No. 1 general in 2009.
He’s instantly the highest prospect within the Pirates system and one of many high prospects in baseball. Given his age and dominance in faculty, it will not be a stretch to suppose he might make his MLB debut someday subsequent season.
There’s all the time some threat with taking a pitcher No. 1 general because of damage issues and the way unpredictable his improvement will be, however that is additionally the Pirates’ finest and almost definitely path to touchdown a front-line beginning pitcher.
This was the sixth time the Pirates have picked No. 1 general, but their track record with that spot is not exactly great. Skenes is the fourth pitcher they’ve taken in that spot.
The Pirates additionally had the No. 1 general decide in 2021 the place they chose catcher Henry Davis. Davis just lately made his main league debut and is at present the crew’s beginning proper fielder.