NC State is No. 5 in Baseball America's preseason poll, which is the highest the Wolfpack has started in program history. Six ACC programs rank in the top 20, including No. 1 Virginia, No. 6 Florida State, and No. 17 UNC. BA also released team capsules for the top five.
Starting Pitching: 65. Rodon has a chance to go down as one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation, thanks to his unmatched competitiveness and his ability to command a premium fastball, a premium slider and rapidly improving changeup. Jernigan has always had good stuff-a 90-94 fastball, a low-80s slider, a high-80s cutter and a decent changeup-but has struggled with his control in the past, though he was much better in the fall. Stone pitched plenty of big innings as a freshman and should be one of the better Sunday starters in the ACC as a sophomore thanks to a quality four-pitch mix, headlined by an 87-92 fastball and a 78-81 slider. The Wolfpack got two more quality starting options in December when identical twins Patrick and Eric Peterson decided to transfer from Temple, which announced it will discontinue its program. LHP Patrick, Temple's Friday starter last year, has an 87-90 fastball, a deceptive changeup and an improving curve. RHP Eric, the Owls' Saturday starter last year, can run his lively fastball up to 92 and has a swing-and-miss curveball.
(Their grades are based on the scouting scale that runs from 20 (real dang bad) to 80 (super great).
The Wolfpack's lowest grades come in the power hitting and bullpen categories, which should be no surprise to anybody. I think the bullpen will be fine and in any event it'll be bolstered by what is setting up to be a deep rotation, including a quality mid-week guy that we typically haven't had. Finding some juice--whoops, poor choice of words--finding some extra pop in the lineup is definitely a concern, though.