SEATTLE — The Pittsburgh Pirates selected LSU right-hander Paul Skenes with the No. 1 overall pick of Major League Baseball’s amateur draft, making him the first pitcher to go No. 1 overall since Casey Mize was selected by the Detroit Tigers in 2008.
Skenes’ selection was announced by Seattle Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr.
Skenes went 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA and a Division I-leading 209 strikeouts, breaking the single-season SEC record, in 122 2/3 innings for an LSU Tigers team that went on to win the Men’s College World Series. Skenes became the first pitcher ever to win Most Outstanding Player at the Men’s College World Series and go No. 1 overall.
Ranked third heading into the draft by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, Skenes regularly throws his fastball into the triple digits and couples it with a plus slider that could make him a major leaguer as early as 2024.
LSU outfielder Dylan Crews went second overall to the Washington Nationals.
The Pirates were selecting first overall for the second time in three years — they took Henry Davis in 2021 and called him up to the major leagues three weeks earlier — and the sixth time overall, more than any other team. They enter the draft with the highest bonus pool at just over $16 million; slot value for the No. 1 overall pick sits at $9,721,000, but teams and players are free to negotiate their own bonus.
MLB is hosting the draft from Lumen Field, which sits adjacent to T-Mobile Park and hosts the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL and the Seattle Sounds of MLS. The draft consists of 20 rounds and will take place over the course of three days, with the first 70 picks taking place on Sunday. The Pirates were awarded the No. 1 overall pick by virtue of winning MLB’s first draft lottery in December.