Pirates’ Paul Skenes makes All-Star Game history with selection

It’s good to be Paul Skenes these days.

The Pirates’ star rookie made a bit of history Sunday when he was named to the MLB All-Star Game by becoming the first player to be taken No. 1 overall in the draft and then be named to the following year’s All-Star team, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Skenes is in the middle of a wild season since being called up and making his MLB debut May 11 in a start against the Chicago Cubs.

The rookie flamethrower is 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in 59 1/3 innings.

Rookie Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes was named an All-Star on Sunday. AP

The LSU product has 78 strikeouts in that span and a .221 batting average against.

“You definitely can’t expect it,” Skenes said of his nod for the All-Star Game, according to 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. And so it’s been a lot that’s happened over the course of a year. It hasn’t necessarily been a whirlwind or anything like that, but looking back, it’s gone quick.”

Skenes has been in the spotlight, not only for his play on the field, for his relationship with gymnastics superstar and social media influencer Olivia “Livvy” Dunne, which they officially announced in August of 2023 in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

While Skenes and Dunne have made headlines over the relationship, Skenes’ play has quickly made him a household name among sports.

Paul Skenes hasn't lost a start since getting called up to the majors.
Paul Skenes hasn’t lost a start since getting called up to the majors. USA TODAY Sports

“I think the thing we’re seeing with him is No. 1, he has really elite stuff,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “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. …

“I think it shows how good his stuff is. And I think it shows why we took him last year because we thought this was a guy that could accelerate himself to the big leagues very quickly and be very successful.”

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