Could Paul Skenes get MLB players out today? We asked them

July 10th, 2023

SEATTLE – Right-hander Paul Skenes became the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft the Sunday night of All-Star Weekend. On Tuesday, baseball’s top talents will take the field in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, and it’s not hard to imagine Skenes as part of that group one day.

Skenes has grabbed the attention of the baseball world and many of these All-Stars, so wanted to know from some of the best in the game: “Could Skenes get big league hitters out today?”

1B Freddie Freeman, Dodgers: “He threw 101 miles an hour and [an 88] mile-an-hour slider; you’re going to get people out no matter where you are. If it’s on in our clubhouse, that’s when I see it and the [College] World Series was going on and you see that and I’m just like, ‘Wow, these young guys are really good.’ Yeah, you could put him on the mound and he could get people out right now.”

RHP Jordan Romano, Blue Jays: “The big leagues are really tough, but I saw him pitch -- especially in the college championships there -- and I think he’d handle his own just fine. He throws 100 [mph], really good slider and pinpoint command. I think that plays anywhere.”

RHP Michael Lorenzen, Tigers: “His stuff is real, it’s electric and he’s got good command of it all. I’ve been watching it, and his breaking ball’s incredible, his changeup’s really good, his outs aren’t on a ton of chase pitches, he’s on the plate. I think with that kind of stuff, if you can live in the strike zone at the Major League level, you’re going to have a lot of success.”

OF Austin Hays, Orioles: “I think I watched a game where he threw like 125 pitches, and his last pitch he threw was 100 miles an hour. If you have command with velocity like that and you have the ability to change speeds and throw two to three pitches for strikes, baseball’s a hard sport. So yeah, you could definitely strike out Major League hitters with stuff like that.”

RHP Josiah Gray, Nationals: “I think he could, yes. He has top-of-the-rotation stuff, he played at the best university in college baseball, so I think he could get hitters out. Obviously there’s an adjustment that would probably come, but I think he could definitely get into a rotation and provide some good outings.”

C Will Smith, Dodgers: “He’s got the stuff to do it. I think the hard part is just every five days going out and doing it and doing it consistently. Big league hitters make adjustments and figure out how to attack a guy like him, or whoever else.”

RHP Bryce Elder, Braves: “I think so, for sure. I think I would say his fastball is really good. I hadn’t watched him a ton, so I can’t go too deep into it. But I think obviously when you have that kind of power stuff, you can strike anybody out. I think that he’s going to have a great career, and I look forward to watching it.”

RHP George Kirby, Mariners: “He throws 100-plus and he’s pretty nasty. Everyone could always get lucky at one point, but he’s really fun to watch. I loved watching him in the College World Series, so I hope gets up here as quick as he can.”