Chase Dollander and Paul Skenes Faced Each Other in Baton Rouge, And One Came Out on Top


What a matchup between LSU and Tennessee.

March 30 was Opening Day in Major League Baseball, but also featured a premier matchup between top 2023 MLB Draft prospects in Paul Skenes and Chase Dollander. The two college aces matched up in a classic game at Baton Rouge, a game that saw Skenes and LSU come out on top. Here’s a look at how the young hurlers held up in Baton Rouge.

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A Look at Dollander and Skenes

We’ll start off with Paul Skenes, who has been slicing up NCAA hitters thanks to an incredible triple-digit fastball and a plus slider. Against an impressive Tennessee lineup that included catcher Jared Dickey, infielder Christian Moore, and a potential first-round pick in Maui Ahuna, Skenes struck out 12 over seven dominant innings. The 20-year-old walked just one, and yielded five hits on Thursday.

As for Chase Dollander, his struggles continued on March 30. The top pitching prospect was roughed up against Missouri a couple of weeks ago, and failed to make it through five innings against top-ranked LSU. The right-hander walked three over 4.2 IP, and left a 96 MPH over the heart of the plate to infielder Gavin Dugas that resulted in a two-run home run.

The two right-handers will be drafted by the end of the first round come July, but when will each come off the board? There’s still a lot of runway between now and the conclusion of the year, giving both a chance to pad their resumes for MLB scouts.

For Skenes, he’s done essentially everything that has been asked of him. With that performance against Tennessee, Skenes now owns a .81 ERA over 44.1 IP, and has struck out 83 batters this season. Opposing hitters are batting just .127 against Skenes and his power arsenal, and it’s quite likely that the only player standing in his way of becoming the first overall pick is his teammate in Dylan Crews. Crews hit .529 with nine home runs and 19 extra base hits over his first 26 games, and has looked awfully impressive along the way.

Dollander, meanwhile, has struggled with command at times throughout the year. While he does own a 56:11 K/BB ratio in 2023, the young right-hander does own a 3.92 ERA. He’s not the only Tennessee starter to struggle this season, as 2024 MLB Draft prospect Chase Burns owned a 4.15 ERA over his first six starts.

The Georgia native will go in the first round — his stuff is still too good. But, his chances of being selected first or second overall have taken a hit this spring.

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