NCAA Division I baseball rosters will be back to the 35-person pre-covid limits in 2023. With NC State holding a fall roster of 42 players, it was only a matter of time until some players hit the exits ahead of the roster crunch that will have to take place ahead of the team’s season opener on February 17th against Wagner.
Three true freshmen entered the transfer portal recently: Michael McKinney, Graham Smiley, and Billy Waldron.
McKinney is a right-handed hitting infielder from Sophia, WV, who originally committed to State back in July 2020. He was rated as an 8-grade prospect (“Potential draft pick and/or excellent college prospect”) by Perfect Game, and as the 2nd best overall prospect from the state and top shortstop. His next collegiate stop is currently unknown.
Smiley is a right-handed hitting catcher from Denver, NC, who originally committed to the Pack back in October 2018. He was rated as a 9.5-grade prospect (“Potential top 10 round pick and/or highest level college prospect”) by Perfect Game, the 21st ranked overall player and 2nd ranked catcher from the state. He was considered to be one of NC State’s top four recruits for the 2022 recruiting class by PG. He has since committed to Appalachian State.
Smiley’s transfer is a surprise, but likely speaks to the level of play from fellow freshman catcher Cannon Peebles. It does leave the Wolfpack with just two catchers on the roster, so a veteran transfer for the spring may be in the works similar to the Pack bringing in Matt Oldham last year.
Waldron is a left-handed hitting, left-handed throwing outfielder from Holly Springs, NC, who originally committed to State back in October 2019. He was unrated by Perfect Game, but was listed as the 60th overall player and 11th ranked outfielder from the state. He was a 3rd team All-State selection as a high school senior. His next destination is currently unknown.