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Pack in the Pros: August 2019 Baseball Edition

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Checking in on former Wolfpackers currently playing in the professional ranks

St Louis Cardinals v Oakland Athletics Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

There are 25 former Wolfpack baseball players playing some level of professional baseball in 2019. For comparison, here’s the July update. Let’s have a look (date of when they last played for NC State in parenthesis, current professional level to the right of that):

Major League Baseball

Carlos Rodon (2014): Chicago White Sox

Rodon continues to rehab from Tommy John Surgery, which wiped out his 2019 season after a promising start. He should be back at some point in the 2020 season.

Trea Turner (2014): Washington Nationals

Turner is now slashing .293/.355/.484 with 24 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, and 25 SB on the year. Since the last post, he’s put up a line of .306/.379/.484, including hitting for his second career cycle. In that span, he has 11 multi-hit games.

Minor League Baseball

Cody Beckman (2017): A+

Beckman remains on the roster for the Carolina Mudcats, where he’s struggled over the last month, pitching to the tune of a 8.31 ERA and 2.31 WHIP, thanks mostly to a sudden lack of control. In 8.2 IP over that span, he’s allowed 11 hits and 9 BB, but has at least struck out 13. On the season, he’s posted an overall line of 3-4, 4.50 ERA, and 1.57 WHIP.

Michael Bienlien (2019): A

Bienlien has put some miles under his feet this summer, going from Rookie ball to A+ for a game, back to Rookie ball, then to A-, and finally to A ball. Since our last post, he’s posted a line across Rookie, A-, and A ball of 0-1, 5.06 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 19 H, 9 ER, 7 BB, and 16 K.

Evan Brabrand (2017): A-

Brabrand has pitched incredibly well in A- ball this summer. Over 15 appearances, he’s 3-1 with 11 SV, with a 1.84 ERA and 1.30 WHIP across 14.2 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 8 BB, 19 K. Since our last post, he’s appeared in 9 games, going 2-1 with 6 SV, a 2.16 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 8.1 IP.

Jack Conley (2018): AA

Since the last post, Conley hit a stint on the 7-day IL with the A+ Clearwater Threshers, returned for two games (he went 1-4 with a 1B, HBP, and 2 SacB), then was promoted to AA on July 30 where in two games he’s gone 1-8 with a HR, 3 BB, 2 R, and an RBI.

Brock Deatherage (2018): A+

Since the last post, Deatherage \m/ has seen his overall season slash line drop to .227/.268/.359 with 14 2B, 10 3B (!), 6 HR, and 38 SB (!!!). Despite the low batting average and on-base percentage, Deatherage has displayed the type of raw skills and talent that scouts love. If he can become more consistent with contact, he has a legit shot at making the show.

Tommy DeJuneas (2017): AA

DeJuneas is 2-2 in 8 appearances since our last update, with a 7.59 ERA and 2.25 WHIP. His line in that span: 10.2 IP, 13 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 11 BB, 12 K. It’s been a rough go of it in AA this year for Tommy, capped by being placed on the 7-day IL on August 9. Hopefully it’s a speedy recovery for DeJuneas and a return to the form that he had shown in the lower levels of minor league ball.

Joe Dunand (2017): AA

Dunand has had a complete lack of power this year, with an ISO on the season of .077. He’s slashing .232/.303/.309, which is slightly down since our last update. He has hit six doubles in that span (28 games), but no home runs and has just a 5:27 BB:K ratio in that run. Dunand turns 24 in September and the organization should show some patience with him giving him time to develop.

Evan Edwards (2019): A

In 50 games now in A ball, Edwards is slashing .271/.358/.410 with 9 2B and 5 HR. Edwards’ continued ascension through the Marlins’ system took a big hit at the trade deadline as the Marlins sent closer Sergio Romo and minor league arm Chris Vallimont to Minnesota in exchange for 22-year-old LHH 1B Lewin Diaz, who is now the Marlins’ top ranked 1B prospect. Edwards has always had to battle the odds throughout his career, so this should be nothing new for him and we’ll all be rooting him along to prove the doubters wrong yet again.

Will Gilbert (2016): A+

Seriously, move Gilbert up. He might not be the flashiest dude, but he’s effective. He did lose a bit of his command since our last post (10 G, 1-0, 6.43 ERA, 1.71 WHIP), but over his last three outings he’s gone 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. Free Will!

Brett Kinneman (2018): A-

It’s been a super tough year for Kinneman. He’s now slashing just .176/.321/.275 in short-season A ball. Seriously, just get to the off-season and regroup at this point.

Andrew Knizner (2016): AAA

Knizner had just been re-promoted to the big leagues when the July edition of this series was posted, and he stuck with the Cards until being sent back down to AAA on August 12. Over his time back up with the MLB club, he slashed .229/.308/.371 with hits in 8-of-11 games, including cranking his first MLB home run. Knizner will likely get a call back up to the Cards come September 1.

Xavier LeGrant (2016): A-

LeGrant hasn’t played since July 18, but doesn’t appear to be injured (he hasn’t hit the IL). Not sure what’s going on there.

Scott Manea (2015): A+

Manea has had a nice run since our last post, batting an even .300 with 5 2B and 3 HR with a 7:13 BB:K rate over 22 games. On the year now, he’s slashing .241/.337/.381 with 13 2B and 9 HR.

Josh McLain (2018): Rk

McLain hit the IL on July 20, and has been doing rehab assignments in August. Hopefully Josh is getting back to full health and will display the type of potential that we all saw during his time in the Red & White.

Evan Mendoza (2017): AAA

Mendoza has been on the IL since June. It was expected to be a short stay on the IL (he was on the 7-day list), but who knows at this point what’s going on.

Tim Naughton (2017): A+

Naughton got bumped up to AA for one game in early August, but it was just a fill-in assignment and he quickly went back down to A+. Naughton’s been rolling since our last update, with an overall line (including his short-lived stint in AA) of 11 G, 1.69 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 2 ER, 7 BB, 12 K. Get those walk numbers down (he hasn’t walked a guy over his last four appearances) and he’ll have something real nice going on.

Jon Olczak (2015): AA

Olczak was activated from the IL on July 15, pitched two scoreless outings, and then was demoted to AA for some completely unknown and weird reason. Still, across AA and AAA since our last update, Olczak hasn’t allowed a run over seven appearances and 9.2 IP. During that span he’s allowed 7 H, 2 BB, and struck out 11. Olczak should be either put on the 40-man roster for the Brewers after this season or he’ll be in the Majors next year for another organization as a Rule 5 Draft pick.

Preston Palmeiro (2016): AA

The good news: Palmeiro has played better since our last update. The bad news: That’s because he was playing so poorly before. Since mid-July, Preston is hitting .230 with 4 2B and 0 HR over 24 games. Much like Kinneman, Palmeiro is probably anxious for the season to end so he can reset and refocus. He’ll need to tap back into his power for him to maintain his place in the Orioles organization past next season.

Ryan Williamson (2016): A

Williamson continues to pitch well and show improvement (last outing notwithstanding - L, 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 HR). Even including that last game included, since the last update, Williamson has gone 3-1 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 21.0 IP, 20 H, 8 ER, 6 BB, 21 K. Things continue to look good for Ryan and we’re all psyched to see him doing well back on the mound.

Will Wilson (2019): Rk

Still chilling in Rookie ball and ranked as the #5 prospect in the Angels organization, Wilson has hit .293 with 7 2B, 2 3B, and 3 HR in the 27 games since our last update. The biggest hindrance for him right now is that 3:30 BB:K rate he’s carried in that same span. The pitchers obviously get better in pro ball, but Wilson is way too talented to be struggling that much with the BB:K rate, especially in Rookie ball.

Independent Leagues

Andy Cosgrove (2017)

Still playing Indy League ball for Southern Illinois in the Frontier League, Cosgrove has seen his slash line drop to an overall line of .269/.356/.319 in 13 games since our last post.

Players Who Hung It Up Or Are Currently Free Agents

Brett Austin (2014)

The Giants released Austin on August 8, marking the second franchise to release the catcher this year. In 25 games of AA ball, Austin slashed just .101/.241/.116 with one extra-base hit (a double).

Jake Buchanan (2010)

The Oakland A’s released Buchanan on July 30 after he posted a 3-6 record across 20 starts in AAA with a 6.16 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. This is probably the end of the road for Buchanan, who will turn 30 later this year. He’s now been with four different organizations over the last three years. He has appeared in the majors across four different seasons, most recently with the Reds in 2017, so he may get another shot with another club.

Sean Adler (2017)

Brian Brown (2018)

Danny Canela (2012)

Chris Diaz (2012)

Cory Mazzoni (2011)

Joel McKeithan (2015)

Logan Ratledge (2015)

Chance Shepard (2016)

Ryne Willard (2016)

Andrew Woeck (2014)

Gianni Zayas (2013)