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Pirates Draft Prospect Watch: Paul Skenes is Dominating on the Mound


The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first overall pick in the July 2023 MLB draft. Our draft preview looked at the top prospects for the pick.

At this stage, the draft is very much up in the air. Every Monday, we’ll recap notable performances from around the prep and college ranks, with video to give you an early look at who could be available to the Pirates. This is our third weekly recap of the weekend action for the top college draft prospects.

Dylan Crews was our first draft prospect profile last Saturday. The LSU outfielder went 2-for-4 with two singles and two runs scored against Samford on Friday. He went 3-for-3 with a homer, three runs and two RBIs on Saturday. He was 1-for-1 on Sunday, with a homer, three walks, two runs and two RBIs. Crews is hitting .510/.648/.922 in 16 games.

Here’s the Sunday homer

Here’s the Saturday homer

LSU right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes is a top ten draft prospect, who is off to a tremendous start. He continued that strong pitching on Friday against Samford, going six innings on one run, two hits, one walk and 12 strikeouts. He is 4-0, 0.75 in 24 innings, with 48 strikeouts, an 0.50 WHIP and a .099 BAA.

Chase Dollander is considered to be the top pitcher in the class right now. We took a closer look at him over the weekend. The University of Tennessee right-hander went up against Morehead State on Friday, going 5.2 innings, with two runs on three hits, three walks and 11 strikeouts. He is 3-1, 2.45 in 22 innings, with 41 strikeouts, a 1.00 WHIP and a .213 BAA.

Florida outfielder Wyatt Langford has a chance to go #1. He was recently rated as the top draft prospect by The Athletic, with his athleticism being the thing that pushed him ahead of Crews for Keith Law. He went 0-for-3 with a run scored against Siena. He left early after getting hit with a foul ball off of his own bat. He did not play the rest of the weekend. He’s hitting .431/.557/.931 in 16 games.

Jacob Wilson from Grand Canyon University has a long shot at being the #1, but he’s still a top ten prospect now. The son of former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson had a series against New Mexico State this weekend. He went 3-for-4 with a triple, run scored and an RBI on Friday. He was 3-for-3, with a double, two runs and an RBI on Saturday. Wilson went 4-for-5 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. He has a .439/.452/.702 slash line in 15 games.

Shortstop Jacob Gonzalez from Ole Miss is another early name to watch. He played against Purdue this weekend. He went 0-for-3 on Friday, but managed to score three runs, while reaching on a walk, HBP and an error. He went 1-for-4 with a single, run and a walk on Saturday. He was 1-for-3 with a single and two walks on Sunday. Gonzalez is hitting .383/.538/.550 in 16 games.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball. When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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