Paul Skenes Ranks No. 1 In Updated 2024 Top 100 MLB Prospects List


Image credit: (Getty Images)

You may notice we have a new No. 1 prospect.

At this point, Paul Skenes’ graduation seems to be a fait accompli. He has currently thrown 22 innings over four starts. At this rate, he’ll need another five or six starts with Pittsburgh to reach the 50.1 innings needed to graduate. So expect to see him exit prospect status right before the All-Star Break.

But to answer the more important question. What made us vault Skenes to No. 1, especially since we’ve written about how difficult it is for a prospect to rank No. 1 on our Top 100 Prospects list?

The simple answer is: if not now, when?

Skenes has pitched like a front-of-the-rotation starter from his first day in the majors. He held the Cubs hitless for six innings while striking out 11 in his second MLB start. He immediately became the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in the majors.

Since his arrival on May 11, he has the fourth-best strikeout rate, the second-best xFIP, a top 15 FIP, top 20 WHIP and top 30 ERA among MLB starters.

He’s shown adaptability, as he’s continued to adjust and add to his arsenal year after year. He now throws his splinker almost as often as his fastball. He didn’t even use the pitch at LSU.

Durability is always a concern with any pitcher, but Skenes has demonstrated the ability to work deep into games (especially at LSU) with minimal drop-off in his velocity or quality of his secondaries.

Skenes’ ascent to No. 1 means that Jackson Holliday has slipped to No. 2 on our rankings. While Holliday did have a rough MLB debut and was sent back to Triple-A, his slide has much more to do with Skenes’ climbing to No. 1 rather than Holliday falling. In fact, Holliday remains in poll position to climb back to No. 1 when Skenes graduates. 

Nationals outfielder James Wood is someone who could challenge however, as he continues to impress and show consistent improvement at the plate.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone