How Pirates' Paul Skenes is using his pitches to dominate MLB

Paul Skenes is taking the majors by storm. Let's take a pitch-by-pitch look at how the Pirates phenom is doing it. AP Photo/Matt Freed

A year ago at this time, Paul Skenes was days away from being selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB draft after taking the SEC by storm at LSU. Going into the draft, I dubbed him the best pitching prospect since Gerrit Cole in 2011.

It's not that surprising that a pitcher with that level of talent could sail through the minors and immediately find success in the big leagues, and Skenes has done that. But improbably, after turning pro, Skenes learned one of the best pitches in baseball and has taken a big leap forward from even the ace-in-the-making who had everyone buzzing going into the draft.

I attended his most recent MLB start against the Atlanta Braves and spoke with him afterward to learn more about how he has been so successful so quickly.

Here is a pitch-by-pitch look at how Pittsburgh's 22-year-old phenom is dominating and an early answer to where he ranks among the best pitchers in the sport two months into his major league career.