Paul Skenes has skyrocketed as a superstar pitcher in the MLB ever since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He looks like he'll be an ace for years to come. But as it turns out, Skenes has a secret weapon that's helping him dominate the league.

That secret weapon happens to be the fact that Paul Skenes prepares himself similarly to a quarterback in football, according to Lindsey Adler and Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal. The Pirates star routinely throws a football around before every start.

“And before every start, he prepares for the wizardry he performs with a baseball by tossing around 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 went out of their way to accommodate once they called him up earlier this season. That same warm-up—the one that involves tossing a pigskin in the outfield—also helps explain Skenes's rapid success since he was drafted last year: He's been preparing like a big leaguer even before he became one.”

That's quite a unique way to prepare for a baseball game. However, this might be the new norm. We've seen CJ Stroud of the Houston Texans prepare for his games and practice different drills for different sports. Paul Skenes is following a similar tactic and it's clearly working. 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 recording an impressive 2.29 ERA, 53 strikeouts, and a 0.992 WHIP. If he keeps that up then Skenes should be taking home the NL Rookie of the Year award.

Can Paul Skenes help the Pirates make the playoffs?

Paul Skenes
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The Pirates are currently third in the NL Central and are just 7.5 games behind the first-placed Milwaukee Brewers. There is plenty of time for Pittsburgh to make a playoff push. Especially if Paul Skenes can continue playing at a high level. What will truly help this team though is if the bats can get hot.

This franchise keeps inching closer and closer to becoming a serious contender. They can potentially make a playoff appearance this season. However, if the front office can continue building the team then they can become a real problem in the next few years. With that said, look for Paul Skenes to remain a stud pitcher while the rest of the Pirates roster improves around him.