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Top prospect RHP Skenes won't make Pirates' Opening Day roster

Paul Skenes Pittsburgh Pirates Paul Skenes - Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates' top prospect won't be starting his season in the majors.

General manager Ben Cherington confirmed on Tuesday that righty Paul Skenes, the first overall pick of the 2023 MLB Amateur Draft, will begin 2024 in the minors.

Skenes, 21, will remain at the team's big league camp for the time being before being optioned.

The LSU product has struck out three and surrendered one run in three innings of work in the Grapefruit League.

A native of Fullerton, CA, Skenes made five appearances across three minor-league levels in 2023. He posted 6.2 innings of work in Rookie ball, A-ball and Double A.

Skenes shined in his last year of NCAA play, breaking Ben McDonald's SEC record for strikeouts with 209. He finished his season at 13-2 in 19 starts with an earned run average of 1.69 and 0.750 WHIP over 122.2 IP.

Skenes won a host of honors for his season, claiming the Dick Howser Trophy and winning the National Pitcher of the Year Award and the College World Series Most Outstanding Player award.