If you are an LSU baseball fan, you probably aren't shocked by what Paul Skenes is doing right now. Before we see what he's doing right now, lets talk about how good Paul Skenes was in college, and why none of us should be shocked about this.

Skenes started his college career playing for Air Force. He was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the year and First-Team All American, while playing catcher and pitching. Yes, Paul Skenes was a valuable hitter at the college level. In his two seasons at Air Force, Skenes hit with a .367 batting average in 119 games. He his 24 home runs with 81 RBIs over two seasons.

In his sophomore year at Air Force, he was named the John Olerud Award winner as the nation's best two-way player. After winning the award, he announced that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal. Eventually saying he was heading to LSU.

He spent just one season at LSU, but it was one of the best years ever recorded. He broke records, was given basically every award you could ask for, was named "first team" on everything, and won a National Championship with the Tigers.

2023 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship
Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

After winning a National Championship, he declared for the MLB Draft. From there, it was just a question of which LSU Tiger would be taken #1 overall. Skenes and his teammate Dylan Crews were the two best players in the draft, and it just depended on what the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted with the top pick; a pitcher or a hitter.

The Pirates took Skenes, and right now, that doesn't look like a bad pick at all.

In Skenes' first three starts at AAA, he has thrown 9.1 innings, given up just 4 hits, no runs, and has only walked two batters. He's collected 19 strikeouts in 9.1 innings of work...that's 33 batters faced, 19 of them have struck out. Meaning he's striking out 58% of the hitters that step in the box against him.

Skenes did get some minor league starts last year as well. This would be after he won a National Championship with LSU, he just went straight into the minors. He pitched in 5 games, and while he did give up 4 runs on 5 hits, he struck out 10 batters in those starts as well. So over all of his minor league games, he's striking out 48% of the batters who step in the box.

Paul Skenes is dominating minor league baseball, so when will he hit the major leagues?

That is still to be seen. Many MLB teams try to manipulate the weird "service time" rules that baseball players face. Teams will intentionally keep players off the MLB rosters, and stuck in the minors, to save a little money here and there. It punishes the players, teams, and fans...just to save the owners some money. Skenes could be kept out of the Pirates rotation for that reason, and that reason alone. So no matter how well he does at Triple A, he won't be in the majors.

But lets hope the Pirates do this right.

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