A pitcher who’s only been in the pros for a month gets a surprise promotion to Double-A.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a surprise promotion to Double-A for a top pitching prospect they selected with the first overall pick in this year’s draft. The star of the show is right-handed hard-throwing pitcher Paul Skins, 21.먹튀검증

“Paul Skins will be assigned to the Double-A Altoona Curve this Sunday to start against the Akron Rubberducks (Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers),” Pittsburgh announced on April 22 (ET).

He was selected by Pittsburgh with the first overall pick in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft on June 10. He signed a contract nine days later for $9.2 million in signing bonuses. Within a month, he was promoted from Rookie League and Single-A to Double-A.

He pitched just three games in the pros. He started one game in the Rookie League and two in Single-A. In those three games, he pitched a total of four innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. At the time of his signing, Pittsburgh emphasized the need to “get Skins to the highest level of the league as soon as possible.”

In his most recent appearance, Skins threw two innings for the Single-A Brandenton Murderers on April 21, topping out at 98.8 mph on 28 pitches, with four pitches touching 98 mph or higher. Previously, Skins made his professional debut with the FCL Firepits on Nov. 11, throwing 11 pitches and touching 101 mph on his fastball.

According to MLB.com, “The 21-year-old Skins, who is ranked No. 3 overall in MLB’s pipeline prospect rankings, has only pitched two games at Single-A, but the Pirates have found plenty of reasons to promote him.

Skins was the ace of Louisiana State’s staff this year, going 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 122⅔ innings pitched in 19 starts. Skins’ signing bonus is the highest in baseball history, surpassing the $8.463 million paid to Detroit Tigers first baseman Spencer Tokelson in 2020.

It’s unclear how long Skins will stay in Double-A, but it’s possible he could be promoted to the majors when rosters expand in September. However, it’s very likely that he’ll be on a major league mound sometime next season.

Pittsburgh has already given up on the postseason with a 55-69 record as of today. Given the team’s recent rebuilding efforts, it’s likely they’ll be willing to give the top-ranked Skins a chance.

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