LSU Baseball: Is Paul Skenes running away with SEC Pitcher of the Year?

When looking at LSU baseball’s start to the 2023 season, there are arguably few players who have impressed more across the seasons first couple of weeks than right-handed pitcher Paul Skenes.

Continuing his stellar start to the year with another strong showing Friday night against Arkansas, is Skenes beginning to run away with the 2023 SEC Pitcher of the Year award?

Is LSU baseball’s Paul Skenes running away with SEC Pitcher of the Year?

Against the Razorbacks on Friday afternoon, Skenes was simply dominant once again, going seven innings with only one run allowed, two hits, three walks, and 12 strikeouts.

As mentioned previously, this continued what has been an impressive start to the year for Skenes, with the junior now owning a combined 0.72 ERA with a 71:7 K:BB ratio across 37.1 IP. Skenes has also allowed only three earned runs this season, with the right-hander having posted double-digit strikeouts in all six starts so far, as well as allowing a .112 AVG to opponents.

Currently rated as MLB Pipeline’s No. 4 overall prospect for the 2023 MLB Draft, Skenes entered the year expected to be a major piece for an LSU baseball team that was one of the most talented in the country, and has done nothing but be just that for the Tigers so far this season. Has the LSU right-hander emerged as the clear favorite for the 2023 SEC Pitcher of the Year in the process?

Yes, there are multiple other names who will likely factor into the conversation later this year such as last year’s winner Chase Dollander, Chase Burns, Brandon Sproat, and more. However, when looking at the overall body of work so far, it’s clear that the 2023 SEC Pitcher of the Year award might just be Skenes’ to lose.

A group of names that includes LSU teammate Dylan Crews as well, could Skenes also be the potential leader in the conversation for SEC Player of the Year also?