2023 MLB Draft: Paul Skenes, RHP, LSU

Player: Paul Skenes
School: LSU                                                         Position(s): RHP
Height: 6’6″                      Weight: 247 lbs.                       Bats: Right                         Throws: Right
Fastball: Sits 93-95, been up to 99. Heavy with lots of late life and good downhill plane.
Slider: 82-85, sharp late breaker. Some two plane but the vertical more from the pitch plane than break. Despite slower velo compared to most power sliders, absolutely plays as a power pitch.
Change: Upper 80s, falls with fade. Velo gap between it and the FB not always where you want it, but enough to keep hitters off balance and the late movement still gets plenty of swing and miss. Arm can slow a touch at times.
Delivery/Mechanics: 3/4 delivery with good leg drive but some effort. Body stays square well at release, but glove side shoulder can get in front at times causing him to miss glove side. Mild arm bend back but good extension at release, although he doesn’t hid the ball much and elite hitters can pick up the ball well. Body does fight front leg in finish some.
Other: Transfer from Air Force as starting junior year there would have locked him in at Air Force through graduation and likely would not see his Active Duty obligations deferred under current rules (Noah Song a perfect example). If not for the upside as a pitcher, would be a draftable power bat where he has shown plus raw power.
Summary: Now that he is at LSU, Skenes will not go under the radar any longer like he had at Air Force. With one of the best fastballs in the class and a big body, Skenes screams power pitcher. That said he has solid command and may even get to the point of being above-average there. There is true ace upside, but most likely a number two or three arm in a rotation. Don’t see a ton of reliever risk outside of hitters possibly being able to adjust to him well after seeing him multiple times given the ball can be seen for too long in the delivery. If so, the stuff does have elite potential in short stints.

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