Pittsburgh Pirates: Paul Skenes to Start for Single-A Bradenton

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates first overall selection, Paul Skenes, is ready to officially join the Bradenton Marauders for his full-season ball debut on Tuesday. Following his eye-catching performance in the Florida Complex League (FCL), where he hit triple digits more often than not, Skenes is now geared up for the next step in his career. He will be joining the "full-season" minor league levels.

However, as he transitions to the Bradenton Marauders, the Pirates' management is likely to exercise caution with their prized prospect. Having thrown just a single inning in the FCL last week, Skenes will probably be on a short pitch count for his debut. This conservative approach is designed to ensure his long-term development and safeguard against any undue strain on his arm. Ben Cherington said the other day that he would not expect Skenes to go past 20 innings or so.

Obviously fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates are hoping for Skenes to get in a couple of innings, though the actual pitch count will dictate the extent of his appearance. Regardless of the innings he logs, the mere fact that Skenes is officially embarking on his minor league journey marks a step forward as he climbs the minor league ladder. Hopefully, Skenes looks just as dominant as he did last week. If so then I would expect them to bump him up another level as they hopefully prepare him for a quick journey to the Majors.

The spotlight shines brightly on Skenes' debut, especially considering it will unfold on his home turf at Bradenton. Scheduled for a 7:05 PM EST start time, the game against Lakeland of the Tigers' Organization promises to be the most interesting minor league game on Tuesday night. Fans will be tuning in to see the former LSU Tiger and his triple-digit heater. Follow along at milb.com to see how Skenes is doing if you are not able to access a stream of the game.