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Paul Skenes reveals the secret weapon behind MLB's meteoric rise

Paul Skenes has become a superstar pitcher in the MLB since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It looks like he will be an ace for years to come. But it turns out that Skenes has a secret weapon that helps him dominate the league.

That secret weapon happens to be the fact that Paul Skenes prepares the same way a football quarterback does, according to Lindsey Adler and Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal. The Pirates star regularly throws a football before every start.

“And before every start, he prepares for the magic he performs with a baseball by throwing a football. All of his success starts with a meticulous preparation and recovery routine that Skenes, 22, developed in college at LSU and that the Pirates did their best to adapt to once they called him up more early this season. That same warm-up — the one that involves throwing a pigskin into the outfield — also helps explain Skenes' rapid success since he was drafted last year: He prepared like a great player even before becoming one.

It's a pretty unique way to prepare for a baseball game. However, this could be the new normal. We saw CJ Stroud of the Houston Texans preparing for his games and practicing different drills for different sports. Paul Skenes follows a similar tactic and it clearly works. Both Skenes and Stroud became immediate superstars in their respective leagues.

Paul Skenes has been a monster on the mound this season. So far in his rookie campaign, the Pirates star is posting an impressive 2.29 ERA, 53 strikeouts and a 0.992 WHIP. If he continues this way, Skenes should win the NL Rookie of the Year award.

Can Paul Skenes help the Pirates make the playoffs?

© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates are currently third in the NL Central and are just 7.5 games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Pittsburgh has plenty of time to get into the playoffs. Especially if Paul Skenes can continue to play at a high level. What will really help this team is if the bats can get hot.

This franchise is getting closer and closer to becoming a serious contender. They can potentially make a playoff appearance this season. However, if the front office can continue to build their team, this could become a real problem in the coming years. That said, expect Paul Skenes to remain a stud pitcher while the rest of the Pirates roster improves around him.

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