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Pittsburgh Pirates' Paul Skenes, Baltimore Orioles' Jackson Holliday Set to Face Off

Paul Skenes and Jackson Holliday, two of the most hyped prospects in baseball, will go head-to-head when the Pirates play the Orioles on Thursday.

When the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles go head-to-head in the Grapefruit League on Thursday, two of the sport's most hyped young players will finally get to face off.

Jackson Holliday is batting leadoff and starting at second base for the Orioles. Paul Skenes will toe the rubber for the Pirates, drawing his first start of Spring Training.

Holliday – the son of former All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and top pick of the 2022 MLB Draft – is the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball. Skenes, meanwhile, went No. 1 overall in 2023 and is widely considered to be the best pitching prospect around.

The 20-year-old Holliday is 1-for-7 with a walk and five strikeouts three games into Grapefruit League action. He went 6-for-14 with four walks and four strikeouts at Spring Training in 2023, when he was still just a teenager.

Holliday is a .320 hitter with 13 home runs, 84 RBI, 28 stolen bases and a .938 OPS through 145 career minor league games. He is expected to be an Opening Day starter for the Orioles next month.

Skenes only posted a 5.40 ERA across 6.2 professional innings in 2023, although he did go 24-6 with a 2.18 ERA, 0.940 WHIP and 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings during his time at LSU. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound 21-year-old was named National Pitcher of the Year and College World Series Most Outstanding Player last summer before he eventually worked his way up to Double-A.

It remains to be seen if Skenes will make Pittsburgh's Opening Day roster, but putting on a show against Holliday and the reigning AL East champion Orioles certainly wouldn't hurt his chances.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET down at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. Newly-acquired ace Corbin Burnes will start opposite Skenes as Baltimore's first pitcher of the afternoon.

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