How much history can Skenes and Jones make in 2024?

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
2 of 4

Can Pirates pitchers Jones and Skenes break through in a crowded rookie class?

Teammates nabbing Rookie of the Year votes isn’t actually that uncommon. Teams with strong farm clubs can regularly churn out top prospects. Just consider the Reds, who had a trio of rookies garner votes in 2023 and 2021. Usually, though, those teammates are position players or a combo of a position player and a pitcher. Occasionally, a pitching duo gets attention. Rarely, are those teammates both starters.

In fact, one would need to go back to the 2017 Rockies to find Rookie of the Year votes handed to players who share a starting rotation. That year, German Marquez and Kyle Freeman performed serviceably for Colorado and racked up 3.5 WAR each. They both pitched more than 150 innings and helped guide their club to the postseason, although neither made an appearance in the Wild Card Game loss to Arizona.

Even if Jones and Skenes run into rookie road bumps, their pure stuff will likely garner some down-ballot votes. While many considered Skenes to be the obvious pick for NL Rookie of the Year and more recently Jones has received ROY buzz, they have a division rival to contend with. The Cubs’ Shota Imanaga has been lights-out, and if Chicago returns to the postseason, he may upset the Pirates’ top prospect.