Former LSU baseball players Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews off to hot starts in minor leagues

Former LSU players Paul Skenes and Dylan Crews are off to hot starts as they look for their MLB debuts. PHOTO BY: Bradenton Marauders

Former LSU pitcher Paul Skenes is tearing up Triple-A batters and making his case for a callup to the majors.

Skenes has pitched 12.2 innings for the Pirates’ Triple-A affiliate the Indianapolis Indians and has yet to give up a run while striking out 27 batters and walking just four. The former No.1 overall pick has given up just five hits this season.

In Skenes’ most recent outing he went 3.1 innings and gave up just one hit and two walks while striking out eight batters. He had 34 pitches over 100 mph and averaged 100.5 mph on his fastball, according to

The Pirates are clearly keeping Skenes on a pitch count as they try to slowly ramp him up to prepare him for eventually making the jump to the majors. He hasn’t pitched more than 3.1 innings in any of his starts and the 65 pitches he threw in his most recent start were a season high.

“With Paul, we’ve been very intentional about how we’re building his volume coming into the season with a goal of really accomplishing two things,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said during his radio show Sunday. “One is to try to get him to an appropriate total volume for 2024 coming off last year, when he pitched a full college season and then just a little bit of pro ball. We don’t want to go from zero to 100 right away. Paul’s so important to us long term, so we want to be really thoughtful about that.”

Skenes’ teammate and the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft Dylan Crews has also been out to a solid start in the minor leagues. Crews recently hit his second grand slam as a professional and his first for the Harrisburg Senators. Just a few days later, he hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

He has two homers, 11 RBI and 10 hits for the Senators with a batting average of .244 in 10 games this season. In his last four games he’s batting .400 with two homers and eight RBI. Crews is currently the No. 7 prospect in baseball and is projected to make his MLB debut this season.

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Will Nickel

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