Pirates rookie Paul Skenes makes MLB history after getting selected to MLB All-Star Game

 

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Pittsburgh Pirates phenom pitcher Paul Skenes has made it to the National League All-Star team, and with the selection comes new MLB history. 

Skenes became the first player in league history to be taken No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft and then named the following year to an All-Star team, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. 

Skenes debuted only two months ago, but the hype has been very real for the LSU product. 

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The 22-year-old made his long-awaited debut on May 11 against the Chicago Cubs, where he mowed down seven hitters, while allowing one homer, six hits and two walks over his innings of work. 

Since then, Skenes has earned himself a 2.12 ERA over 10 starts, striking out 78 hitters with just 12 walks. Additionally, the Pirates are 7-3 in games he starts. 

PIRATES ROOKIE PHENOM PAUL SKENES MAKES MLB HISTORY WITH ANOTHER DOMINANT OUTING

“You definitely can’t expect it,” Skenes said of his All-Star Game bid, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think it’s just a product of being present and doing the work that it takes, that kind of thing. The expectation was definitely to win the national championship when we were there. That was the only thing that we wanted to do. 

“But in terms of getting drafted first overall, getting called up whenever I was called up, and now the All-Star game, there were no expectations for me. It’s kind of just about doing as much as I can and allowing others to make the decision for me.”

Sporting a triple-digit fastball on the radar gun with some other nasty breaking pitches, Skenes has proven to be the young ace the Pirates hoped he would be one day. They are certainly not complaining that he is already making an impact in the bigs after needing just 12 minor league starts before his debut. 

“I think the thing we’re seeing with him is No. 1, he has really elite stuff,” manager Derek Shelton said of Skenes. “The things that we’re seeing on him is his ability to grow within starts. I think even the last two starts, the first couple innings he’s been out of sorts a bit with his mechanics, and we’ve seen him make adjustments and not let games get away from him. That’s a really rare thing for a young pitcher.”

There were several other firsts for National League pitchers alongside Skenes in this year’s All-Star Game, including Miami Marlins reliever Tanner Scott, Philadelphia Phillies reliever Matt Strahm and San Diego Padres reliever Robert Suarez, among others. 

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In fact, each pitcher is either a first- or second-time All-Star except for Atlanta Braves starter Chris Sale, who will be pitching in his eighth All-Star Game. 

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