Skaggs works scoreless first in Futures debut

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Josh Greene

Representing his hometown parent club in Sunday’s XM All-Star Futures Game, you’d think D-backs pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs’ biggest worry heading into his start for the U.S. team would be the anticipation of taking the mound… versus some of the best hitters on the World team… in front of a national TV audience.

Instead it was coping with a jersey that, he claimed, was a little bit large on him.

Still, the left-hander didn’t seem to mind once he got out in front of the Chase Field faithful. Skaggs worked a scoreless first inning after giving up a double and a walk, as the U.S. squad went on to win the exhibition, 6-4. As he’s done a lot of this season, he also racked up a strikeout.

“I was hoping I wouldn’t drop the ball in the stretch and look bad,” Skaggs said. “I was excited. I got a chance to show I could pitch out of a jam so that was good. I would have loved to have gone a couple more, but one inning was good. It was fun and sort of surreal, starting with all those fans in the stands.”

The Single-A Visalia prospect had plenty to show his former childhood idol (and U.S. Futures manager) Mike Piazza, whom he regularly cheered on when the slugger was a rookie with the Dodgers, finding the strike zone with 11 of his 17 pitches on the night.

“I was pleased overall,” Skaggs said. “I wish I could have gotten a few more strikeouts. It motivates me to get here as fast as I can. Today, the fans were really behind me, and that felt good. It felt like I belonged there.”

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