He can pitch. He can hit. A shot off his bat might register as a missile launch. His pitches have more heat than a supernova.
Paul Skenes isn’t just good, he’s dominant.
Skenes is ranked as the 2nd best prospect for the 2023 MLB draft (according to Baseball America). He ended up at Air Force because serving his country is very important to him. Now that he’s here, he’s taken his game to another level.
"Whenever I picked up a baseball first, I would never have thought that I would be where I am today," Skenes says. "I think it’s a journey that started back then. I found my love for it. It’s something that I really wanted to work hard for. I’m kind of reaping the benefits of it right now.
This is the perfect time for him to break out. He’s an Angels fan, and his favorite player is Shohei Ohtani, another 2-way star who’s currently the best player on Earth. That’s the guy some analysts are comparing Skenes to.
“I never thought that I would ever have any [comparisons] to him," Skenes says. "It’s fun to watch. To watch him play, to watch him compete every day, and so I think that’s something that I try to draw on as I’m going through my career."
Hopefully the team that drafts him will be smart, and he’ll get a chance to play both ways in the bigs. After all, guys like Ohtani have changed the game. Until then, Air Force will have a true superstar, and a devoted American cadet.
"Having me out on the field every day, I can’t think of anything much better than that, I would say. I've just gotta keep producing, and having a good time," Skenes says. "Obviously, keep working. I think I’ll let them (the team who drafts him) make the decision for me, but I’m gonna try to play both ways as long as I can.”
Skenes has registered a 2.71 ERA, and an 8-2 record this season as a starting pitcher. He has a .306 batting average, with 10 home runs, and 32 RBI as the designated hitter.