Paul Skenes to Make MLB Debut on Saturday

The top pick in last year's draft, and the top pitching prospect in the sport, is on his way to Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day
Pittsburgh Pirates Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

Pittsburgh Pirates fans can finally rejoice as the #1 prospect in the system, Paul Skenes, is finally getting the call to the big leagues. This news came straight from the source:

Skenes, the #3 overall prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, will debut Saturday for the Pirates as they take on the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park for a 4:05 PM game. Skenes has dominated at every stage in the minor leagues, including this season where he's struck out 45 batters in 27.1 innings while producing a 0.99 ERA. Sunday was his final minor league start, collecting four K's and allowing two earned runs over 4.1 innings.

This is an exciting moment for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their fans. The hype began the day Skenes was selected #1 overall by the Pirates, who gave him the largest draft bonus ever at $9.2M, and that buzz will finally be making its way to Pittsburgh on Saturday. The hype can only be compared to that of former Pirates #1 overall pick Gerrit Cole, who also made his debut at PNC Park. On that June Tuesday in 2013, Cole outdueled two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum in front of a crowd of nearly 31,000.

Skenes will bring a massive arsenal to face the Cubs on Saturday. He features a fastball that routinely touches over 100 mph, a devastating slider, a strong changeup, and a pitch he developed known as a "splinker" - a mashup of a sinker and a splitter. It's a big league-ready arsenal, and specifically one that could blow away MLB hitters.

The hype for Skenes is huge and we'll finally get to see how his major league career unfolds beginning Saturday.

Considered the best college pitching prospect since Stephen Strasburg and the best pitching prospect in baseball, it's time now for him to back up all that talk. Skenes' debut should be electric. The atmosphere is similar to that of an MLB playoff game (it certainly was for Cole's debut). It's a moment that could finally put the Pirates back on the map, a decade after the last time the Pirates were relevant. Get ready for Paul Skenes.