The Pirates aren’t in a rush to bring Paul Skenes up to the big leagues, but the Pittsburgh prospect is making a case to be up there sooner rather than later. 

Skenes threw 3 ⅓ innings scoreless on Thursday night for Triple-A Indianapolis in an outing where he reached at least 100 mph on 34 of the 43 four-seam fastballs he threw and struck out eight batters, according to MLB.com. 

Skenes, the 2023 No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 draft and MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 overall prospect, averaged 100.5 mph on his fastball Thursday. 

He finished the day with 65 pitches under his belt, and in 12 2/3 innings this season in Triple-A, Skenes has 27 strikeouts.

He still hasn’t even let up a single run. 

Still, Skenes, who is also known for being the boyfriend of LSU gymnastics superstar Olivia Dunne, isn’t being rushed in his development. 

He hasn’t thrown four innings in a start this season, and the Pirates are being strategic in taking their time with is progress. 

“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 recently during an interview with 93.7 The Fan, according to MLB.com. “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.”

While the Pirates aren’t trying to push Skenes, if he keeps up the way he’s been playing so far, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him in the majors soon enough.

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