Paul Skenes height: How tall is Pirates phenom compared to other MLB pitchers?

Pirates phenom Paul Skenes drew frequent comparisons to Stephen Strasburg and Justin Verlander leading up to last year’s MLB Draft, and the No. 1 overall pick’s dominance on the mound wasn’t the only reason why.

In an era that has seen pitchers with smaller frames, including Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman, find success, Skenes serves as a reminder that size can be a weapon for starters. Like Verlander and Strasburg, Skenes has a large frame that he uses to throw a fastball that can touch triple-digits.

Size doesn’t guarantee success at the major-league level, but it’s part of what makes Skenes such a formidable pitcher just 10 months after being drafted. The No. 1 pick can step onto the mound at PNC Park and intimidate hitters from day one, which is what the Pirates were hoping all along.

Here’s a look at Skenes’ height and how it compares to other MLB pitchers.

MORE: How Paul Skenes met famous girlfriend Livvy Dunne

Paul Skenes height

Skenes is listed at 6-6 and 235 pounds. For comparison, Strasburg measures in at 6-5, 239 pounds, while Verlander is 6-5, 235 pounds. Both were top-two MLB Draft picks and made their major-league debuts the season after they were drafted.

The Pirates are so confident in Skenes in part because he’s already made a tough transition in his career. He jumped from Air Force to LSU ahead of the 2022-23 season and only got better, putting together a dominant junior season for the Tigers against some of the toughest competition in the country.

Then, after just five minor league starts in 2023, Skenes stepped up to Triple-A and posted a 0.99 ERA in seven outings over the last few weeks of the season.

That doesn’t guarantee a smooth transition to the majors — at least not immediately — but it is a sign that Skenes is as well equipped as anyone to handle the jump and the attention that comes with it. Having a size advantage over almost all hitters at any level undoubtedly makes that transition much easier.

Tallest MLB pitchers

Skenes is on the taller end of major-league pitchers at 6-6, but he’s not the tallest in baseball in the 2024 season.

There are 18 active pitchers listed at 6-7 or taller, including players on the IL. Of those 18, just six are starting pitchers. The rest are primarily relievers.

Player Height Team
Sean Hjelle 6-11 Giants
Bailey Ober 6-9 Twins
Felix Bautista 6-8 Orioles
Tyler Glasnow 6-8 Dodgers
Bryan Hudson 6-8 Brewers
Chris Martin 6-8 Red Sox
Trevor Megill 6-8 Brewers
Angel Perdomo 6-8 Braves
Eury Perez 6-8 Marlins
Chris Roycroft 6-8 Cardinals
Tyler Wells 6-8 Orioles
Joe Boyle 6-7 Athletics
Miguel Castro 6-7 Diamondbacks
James McArthur 6-7 Royals
Tylor Megill 6-7 Mets
Kyle Muller 6-7 Athletics
A.J. Puk 6-7 Marlins
Michael Tonkin 6-7 Yankees

MORE: Gerrit Cole gives advice for Paul Skenes ahead of debut

Giants reliever Sean Hjelle is the tallest active pitcher in baseball at 6-11, and he’s tied with Jon Rauch as the tallest player in MLB history. Hjelle has made 29 appearances since debuting in 2022, shuffling between the majors and the minors.

Minnesota’s Bailey Ober is the tallest active starter in baseball at 6-9, three inches taller than Skenes. In addition to the 18 active pitchers taller than Skenes, a handful of starters — including Logan Gilbert and Zach Eflin — match the 21-year-old at 6-6.

After Rauch and Hjelle, Randy Johnson, Chris Young Aaron Slegers and Eric Hillman are among the tallest players in MLB history at 6-10. 

Paul Skenes minor league stats

Season Level(s) IP ERA WHIP K
2023 Rk, A, AA 6.2 5.40 1.05 10
2024 AAA 27.1 0.99 0.92 45
Career   34.0 2.12 0.94 55

Skenes had one rocky appearance at the double-A level in 2023, allowing four earned runs in 0.2 innings, but there has been nothing to complain about outside of that outing. The phenom bounced back with two scoreless innings in his final appearance of the year, and he carried that momentum into 2024 with a sub-1.00 ERA through seven starts at triple-A Indianapolis.

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