Why Paul Skenes Should Start Major League Baseball's All-Star Game

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Paul Skenes SHOULD Start Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game

Jasper Abrahams

Sebastian Foltz/Post-Gazette

There’s no speeding around Pittsburgh Pirates ace Paul Skenes and the impact he has on Major League Baseball. His illustrious college career began at Air Force and took a stop at LSU – which included a 2023 College World Series Championship. The hype surrounding the franchise-altering star has been in full swing. 

The 6-foot-6, right-handed flame-thrower has done nothing but dominate from 60-feet, six-inches in the Major Leagues. If you’re unfamiliar with Skenes – the California native has accomplished anything and everything you can since debuting in May, and is currently the heavy favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award.

The mean-mug mustache paired with his mystique and humble personality on-and-off the field has the City of Pittsburgh captured by the presence No. 30 in yellow & black.

Skenes’ popularity and stardom on social media – with nearly 500k Instagram followers – can also be attributed to his girlfriend, fellow LSU scholar, Livvy Dunne – 5.3M Instagram & 8M TikTok followers. A new generation of fans have been introduced to Skenes, the Pirates and simply the game of baseball because of his off-the-field social media outreach.

To all the Yinzers of Pittsburgh, the Pirates have a superstar and new face(s) of the City.

Since hoisting the College World Series Trophy at LSU last June, the right-hander has had arguably the best calendar year of any player in history.

NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The Year of Paul Skenes

June 26, 2023: College World Series Championship at LSU (Most Outstanding Player in College World Series)

July 9, 2023: Drafted 1st overall in 2023 MLB Draft

May 11, 2024: MLB Debut (vs CHC - 4.0 IP, 7 K)

May 17, 2024: First Win (@ CHC - 6.0 IP, 11 K, zero hits)

July 3, 2024: Named to MLB All-Star Game

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The moment continued when the highly-anticipated prospect made his debut in Pittsburgh. A new era of baseball in Pittsburgh has officially arrived.

Paul Skenes is representing the Pittsburgh Pirates on All Star WeekendJuly 13 to July 16 in Arlington, Texas at Globe Life Field – but on the bigger stage, the right-hander is representing the game of baseball in the national media spotlight.

Baseball, including MLB and and at the College level, doesn’t receive the media recognition it truly deserves. Networks like ESPN and TNT broadcast games once or twice a week on national television, but other sports overpower the papers. 

A real-time example of this is a quarterback signing in the NFL offseason. This story jumps up to the headlines for days and even weeks, and yet a player hitting a walk-off home run isn't even glanced at by the media.

Until now. 

Paul Skenes has broken the barrier down with his 102 MPH fastball and has even appeared on airwaves such as “The Pat McAfee Show” on ESPN which averages nearly 400k live viewers. Prior to Skenes, McAfee along other main-stream shows and networks would never even consider discussing trending topics in the baseball world. 

Skenes has appeared on The Pat McAfee Show a few times in-studio and on the air, and his one-on-one interview has been seen by over 110k just on YouTube alone: Paul Skenes x Pat McAfee In Studio

The Pat McAfee Show

Skenes’ velocity and accolades on the mound has the speed to alter the headlines and gain attraction to his personal brand, the Pirates and the sport itself.


So, why should Skenes start the All-Star Game for the National League?

Simply put: Marketability

The objective of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game is to showcase the best players in the sport on the biggest stage. 

The former LSU Tigers’ star has overtaken the media and has become baseball’s face of the sport, for the time being. It’s even better that Skenes is a rookie because new fans of the sport from his network which includes his social media, Livvy Dunne and even Pat McAfee are all glued to the screen whenever he takes the mound.

Skenes is a fresh face in the sport’s marketability brand, something Major League Baseball is improving every season. If Paul Skenes gets the ball for the National League in the All-Star game, hundreds of thousands of new fans will tune into the Midsummer Classic because of the Pittsburgh Pirates ace.

It’s truly the year of Paul Skenes.

Jasper Abrahams is from Port Washington, NY and a third-year student at Penn State.


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