Fantasy baseball prospect watch: Is Paul Skenes' promotion imminent?

Paul Skenes has been dominant in his three Triple-A starts, although his pitch count is being carefully managed. Adam Pintar/Indianapolis Indians

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Paul Skenes, the first pick in the 2023 amateur draft out of LSU, is appointment watching. The right-hander has made three starts for Triple-A Indianapolis, striking out 19 of 33 Toledo, Memphis and Louisville hitters, permitting a mere four singles and two walks. Skenes has thrown 97 of 145 pitches for strikes. Yes, it is only three outings and 9⅓ innings -- with no more than 55 pitches in any one of them -- but the big-league Pirates are thriving, and everyone wants to see Skenes in the major leagues.

That may be what everyone was hoping for when Pirates LHP Marco Gonzales, fresh off a solid weekend outing in Philadelphia, hit the injured list for a forearm muscle strain. Why not promote Skenes to the open rotation spot? OK, so 16 minor league innings in less than one calendar year is not much, but Skenes is no ordinary prospect. He is 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, with an explosive fastball, dominant slider and an emerging changeup. He elicits comparisons to the great Stephen Strasburg, also a No. 1 overall pick.