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What can Brown do for you? A look at NC State's new ace

Wolfpack baseball is starting to churn out lefty studs like football churns out NFL quarterbacks.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

To put Brian Brown's performance into perspective, consider the following sets of numbers, because we love numbers and never ever twist them to fit our narrative around here.

Set #1: 2.01 ERA/.229 opponents' batting average/10.7 K's per 9 innings

Set #2: 1.98 ERA/.228 opponents' batting average/10.1 K's per 9 innings

If you guessed that the first set of numbers were Carlos Rodon's stats from his junior year, you win a free lifetime BTP subscription. That second set, of course, are Brian Brown's numbers from his sophomore year. Brown is certainly not the pro prospect Rodon was, but he has been every bit as effective on the college level with the one caveat that he doesn't work as long in games as his lefty ace predecessor, though that is changing somewhat in league play. Rodon averaged seven innings per start as a junior, while Brown is averaging 6.5 innings per start thus far in 2016 against ACC competition.

Brown, who was 7-3 with a 2.03 ERA as freshman, was named a NCBWA freshman All-America last season while making the ACC honor roll. The crafty lefty's smarts have led to improvement in his sophomore season. Since struggling in his first start against Coastal Carolina, Brown has posted a 1.17 ERA over his last 38.1 innings pitched. It's been 16.2 innings since he last allowed an earned run. He's set new career highs with a 13-K performance against Notre Dame and a 7.2-inning outing against national champion Virginia.

While he's never going to pump it up there in the mid-90s, it's not hard to imagine Brown having a Jamie Moyer-like career (in performance if not longevity) in pro ball someday. Fortunately, he's got at least a season and a half left in Wolfpack red first.