12.2 billion express rookie promoted to Double-A in a month, draws 11,164 to watch debut…till next year’s ML opener

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie pitcher Paul Skins, 21, has been promoted to Double-A Altona and drew a crowd.

MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, reported on Skins’ Double-A debut on Sunday, saying, “John Wilson has been a team assistant at Altona (Pittsburgh’s Double-A affiliate) for about 10 years and six months, and he’s seen bigger crowds than he’s ever seen before.”

“Strasburg’s Double-A debut in 2010, Andy Pettitte’s rehab start in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series a few months later, and an exhibition game between Pittsburgh and Altona in 2013. All three of those games can be compared to the Skins’ debut, but today’s game drew a record crowd of 11,164.”

Skins is a right-hander who was the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s First-Year Player Draft. He’s been touted as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball with a fastball that sits in excess of 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h). His $9.2 million rookie contract broke the all-time record.

After posting a 0.00 ERA in one game (one inning) in Rookie ball and a 0.00 ERA in two games (three innings) in Single-A, Skins was quickly promoted to Double-A. The speed at which the Skins were promoted through the minor leagues speaks volumes about how much Pittsburgh is counting on them.

However, in front of the largest crowd in stadium history, Skins didn’t pitch as well as expected. Initially scheduled to pitch two innings, he left the game after giving up four runs on three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in ⅔ innings. He threw 33 pitches.

Nevertheless, MLB.com noted, “Skins got his first strikeout with a 100-mph fastball. His fastball sat 97-100 mph (156.1-160.9 km/h) with 12 throws over 99 mph (159.3 km/h) and two over 100 mph,” highlighting Skins’ strong command.

Asked about the stadium’s record crowd, Skins said, “I didn’t realize it was a record crowd today. It’s cool. Obviously, big crowds are not why I play baseball. We play baseball to win games, but it’s cool to have a crowd watching us.”

After a disappointing Double-A debut, Skins said, “A bad game is a bad game. That’s just the way baseball is. Obviously, I want to win the game and throw the best ball I can throw. I try to prepare as best I can every time I go out there. But that’s baseball. It’s not as bad as it looks, and it’s not as good as it looks, but it’s a beautiful game,” he said, still exuding confidence.온라인바카

MLB.com wrote, “Skins is just over a month into his professional career, but he’s already been through half of Pittsburgh’s minor league system. If he has a couple good outings at Altona, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could make a start or two at Triple-A Indianapolis. Maybe even a spot on the opening day roster in 2024?” he said, suggesting that the Skins could quickly move him up to the majors.

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