Pirates rookie pitcher Paul Skenes May 17, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes (30) throws the ball against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It took Pittsburgh Pirates star pitcher Paul Skenes under a year to go from a top prospect to one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. And on Sunday, he was named to the 2024 All-Star Game, an honor that he has done faster than any other top draft pick in MLB history.

Skenes was of course one of the most dominant collegiate pitchers in recent memory coming out of LSU. So there were very little doubting that he was destined for stardom in the MLB at some point.

But even Skenes biggest supporters may not have anticipated him doing so as quickly as he has. Thus far in his rookie season, Skenes has had very few bumps in the road, sporting a 2.12 ERA on the season while averaging 11.9 strikeouts per-nine innings.

Skenes didn’t start out at the major league level, so he doesn’t qualify on most statistics yet in terms of league-leaders in the MLB. But if he did qualify, he would be top-five in the MLB in both ERA and strikeouts per-nine innings.

As many expected based on just how productive he has been on the year, he was named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday for the upcoming 2024 All-Star Game later this month.

As Nightengale said in his report, Skenes is now the only player in MLB history to be selected first overall in the MLB Draft and then make the All-Star team in the following season.

This accomplishment obviously speaks to just how special of a talent Skenes has shown to be early on in his career. Very few top draft picks even factor into a team’s plans one season after being drafted, much less make an All-Star team.

Only time will tell whether the second half of his rookie season will go as flawlessly as his first half has been. But regardless, the Pirates very clearly have something special on their hands in Paul Skenes.

[Bob Nightengale on X]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.