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NC State’s Joe O’Donnell Named to Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List

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RALEIGH, N.C. – Following a stellar 2017 campaign, NC State baseball’s Joe O’Donnell has been named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List, announced Monday by the organization.

The award is given annually to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

O’Donnell made 25 appearances on the mound last season, all in relief, to compile a perfect 4-0 record. His team-high seven saves tied for the sixth most by any pitcher in the ACC last season.

The Wilmington, N.C., native struck out 59 batters in just 48.1 innings pitched to average more than a strikeout per inning. O’Donnell only allowed eight extra-base hits and held opposing batters to a .211 batting average.

O’Donnell was lights out for the Wolfpack down the stretch, as he did not allow a run in 12.1 innings pitched from late April to mid-May to nail down six saves during that stretch.

The redshirt senior is one of seven players from the ACC represented on the list, which is the second most from any conference.

O’Donnell is the first NC State player to be named to the watch list since 2012 when Chris Overman was recognized by the NCBWA.

NC State opens the 2018 season at home on Feb. 16 against Seton Hall with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.

2018 NC State baseball season tickets are now on sale and can be found on GoPack.com/Pack9Tickets.

NC State Baseball

Trea Turner’s power / speed combo puts him in MLB history books

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Former NC State (and current Washington Nationals) SS, Trea Turner, is having what has become a historic season.

So why hasn’t there been more hype around the 25-year-old?

Well, last year in an injury-shortened season (412 ABs), Turner was on an even torrid pace. He batted .284, hit 11 HRs and stole 46 bases. That was coming off a 2016 season where, in just 324 ABs he hit an insane .342 with 33 HRs and 33 steals.

Those type of numbers have made some see his 2018 numbers as a sort of letdown.

After last night’s big game (2-5, HR, 3 RBIs) Turner is hitting .268 with 15 HRs in 504 ABs. He’s also stolen 32 bases. While he’s shown a better pace in the past, the current pace is actually good enough to land him in the MLB record books.

Trea Turner is already showing historic power/speed combo numbers, but his past numbers show, this might just be the beginning of what is possible for the young SS.

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Detroit Tigers promote Brock Deatherage to A-Advanced & he keeps raking

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We told you just a few days ago that former NC State OF Brock Deatherage was lighting up the minor leagues.

Well, we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

Yesterday, Deatherage was promoted by the Detroit Tigers from Class A to Class A-Advanced.

 

It seems as if the Tigers are fast-tracking Brock at this point. If he hits well for Lakeland, he could start next season in AA, and if that happens, he could see the majors by the end of next season. But again, it all comes down to him continuing to hit like this.

The good news is, in his first at-bat with the new club, Deatherage hit a laser-beam of a triple into the right-center gap.

We’ll keep you updated on how he fares in the coming weeks.

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Former Pack star Brock Deatherage off to fast start to pro career

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Brock Deatherage might have the coolest name in the pro baseball ranks, but he’s not resting on his laurels.

Instead, the former Wolfpack OF is eating pitchers alive in his first season of pro ball.

Deatherage started in rookie ball where he logged just 9 ABs. That’s because in those 9 ABs he had 5 hits and 4 of those were HRs.

So the Detroit Tigers front office quickly moved him up to A-ball where he’s continued to rake.

In 42 games, he’s tallied 162 ABs. He 51 hits (good for a .327 average), 2 HRs, and 12 walks. He’s also swiped 15 bases. Check out his first HR here

It’s likely that if Deatherage continues this pace that he’ll start next season in AA. And if that goes well, and MLB ETA could be September of next season.

We’ll keep following Brock as he hits his way through the Detroit Tigers minor league system.

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Former Wolfpacker Andrew Knizner making case for call-up by Cardinals

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Andrew Knizner was a consistent producer at NC State. For his career, he hit over .300 and showed a patient approach at the plate. Couple that with the fact that he was versatile in the field and you can see why the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the 2016 MLB draft.

Fast forward a few couple years and not much has changed for Knizner. He’s still hitting over .300, his approach is still solid and he’s showing he can play multiple positions in the field. The only difference is that he’s now doing that in the high level of the Cardinal farm system.

As you recall, Knizner was promoted to AAA in late May. He then followed with an invitation to the MLB Futures Game during All-Star weekend. Now, the question is, when will he get the call to the big show?

A target date to watch for is September 1st. This is when MLB rosters will expand from the normal 25-man roster to the full 40-man roster.

Now usually, if a guy is not on the 40-man roster, then it’s unlikely you’d see him get the call in September (and Knizner is not on the Cardinal’s 40-man.) However, the Cardinals are only 6.5 games out of first place in their division and just 4 games out of the Wild Card. This means they will likely be in the middle of a playoff push in September. That also means that they’ll need to make sure they have enough depth for that run.

Most teams carry at least 3 catchers when rosters expand, but looking at St. Louis’ 40-man, they would only be carrying their starter Yadier Molina, and backup Francisco Pena.

What we’re getting at is that if the Cardinals can keep pace in their playoff race, then when rosters expand, there is an increasingly good chance that they designate someone for assignment and add Andrew Knizner to the roster, both because his numbers dictate it and because they need an emergency backstop.

The kid has hit over .300 in AA and now after a few weeks in AAA, he’s hitting .314. He’s also being touted as a quality defensive catcher and is even starting to show a little more pop. The Cardinals are looking for a protege to bring up while their future Hall of Fame catcher, Yadier Molina is still around to tutor him. All of this may go into motion a lot sooner than thought, but it’s deserved and very much earned by the former Wolfpacker.

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