Thanks to his imposing frame and even more impressive record, Paul Skenes has become a potential professional pitcher to watch out for. Now that he has gained so much attention for his pitching at LSU, many want to learn more about Paul's history, which includes his decision to leave the Air Force Academy.
That decision ultimately set Paul on the path toward the major leagues that he's currently on. Fans want to know more about why he decided to leave the Air Force. Keep reading for all of the details.
Why did Paul Skenes leave the Air Force to join LSU?
Paul ultimately left the Air Force Academy because he realized that he had a high chance of being able to play in the major leagues right after college. If he stayed at the Academy, he would have been obligated to complete some military service before he could join the MLB. The only way for him to avoid that service was for him to transfer out of the Air Force Academy prior to the start of his junior year.
"So even if you're still in minor league baseball, major league baseball, if you're still in the Air Force, they can pull it away from you, which isn't a super common thing, but you see it occasionally," Paul explained to reporters ahead of his first day of practice in October. "I didn't want anyone to take it out from under me."
When Paul joined the Academy, he hadn't considered a professional career, but that changed thanks in large part to his time playing with the Air Force.
Paul Skenes is no longer obligated to serve in the military.
Although Paul's enrollment in the Air Force Academy suggests that he has an interest in serving in the military, his decision to leave prior to his junior year means that he'll no longer be obligated to. Even so, some around Paul still expect that he'll choose to serve at some point. His Air Force coach said that the time and manner of his service may change, but the service itself won't.
“He will serve his country in some manner moving forward. It's just going to be a matter of when. Paul and I have spoken about that piece,” Mike Kazlausky told NOLA.com this year. “We'll get him back in the military once his professional playing days are over. It’s a big deal for Paul to be able to serve our country.”
Paul has repeatedly sung the Academy's praises, crediting them with his development as both a player and a person.
Paul is a very exciting pitching prospect.
Paul likely made the right decision in leaving the Academy. Currently, he's regarded as an incredibly promising prospect. He holds a 13-2 record with the LSU Tigers and posted a 1.69 ERA. He can throw a fastball that gets into the triple digits, which is definitely fast enough for the major leagues. Wherever Paul winds up, it seems unlikely he'll regret his decision to try and capitalize on his budding skills.