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Former NC State Catcher Andrew Knizner to Play in Futures Game

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Former NC State catcher Andrew Knizner will be playing in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game tomorrow at 4pm on MLB Network.

The Futures Game is an exhibition game on All-Star weekend, of the best prospects in the Minor Leagues from the United States versus the best prospects in the Minor Leagues from around the world. Every team has to be represented, and no team can have more than two players on the roster.

Knizner, 23, is ranked the Cards’ No. 5 prospect, and is hitting .318/.386/.430 between stints at Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. Power may be the last raw tool that eludes him as he continues his ascent toward the Majors; he has just three homers in 223 at-bats this year. Knizner spent three weeks with Memphis earlier this season — the first time he’s reached that level — when Carson Kelly was called up to St. Louis to fill in while Yadier Molina recovered from emergency surgery following a pelvic injury. In that stretch, Knizner impressed with a .333/.400/.444 line.

Taken with what was touted as a sneaky solid pick in the seventh round in 2016 by St. Louis, Knizner had his true break out during the Arizona Fall League last season. (MLB)

Here’s a link to the full Futures Game rosters.

Here’s a look at Knizer’s production in three seasons at NC State.

NC State Baseball

Details emerging on Elliot Avent’s new contract

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As we reported yesterday, The NC State Board of Trustees approved a new contract for head baseball coach Elliot Avent.

What was not reported was the amount he’ll be getting after 42-18 season and 2nd place ACC finish. WRAL’s Jeff Gravely chimed in with this last night…

$500,000 for a base salary is very good in the world of ACC college baseball. If you want to compare, we can look at Clemson’s Monta Lee, who led the Tigers to a 47-16 season and a 1st place ACC finish.

Lee will be paid $460,000 this year and next year, $480,000 in 2020-2021 and $500,000 in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.

So Lee wins the ACC, but still won’t be making that ‘Elliot Avent money’ until 2021.

Meanwhile, Avent is really starting to build something special at NC State.

The Pack finished the year ranked No. 22 in the D1 Baseball Poll, which marks the 16th consecutive season that the Wolfpack has either started or finished the year ranked among the top 25 of a major poll. The Pack also made history with four players selected in the top-10 rounds of the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.

In 2013, he led the Wolfpack to the College World Series (CWS) and has taken NC State to the NCAA Tournament in 17 of his 22 seasons at the helm, including 14 of the last 16 seasons.

Avent is the winningest head coach in program history and is just one of 17 active NCAA Division I baseball head coaches with 1,000 or more career wins. The 2019 season will be his 23rd leading the Wolfpack. (NC State Release)

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NC STATE BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVES NEW CONTRACTS FOR AVENT AND SANTORO

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RALEIGH, N.C. – The NC State Board of Trustees approved Friday new contracts for head baseball coach Elliott Avent and head women’s soccer coach Tim Santoro.

Avent’s contract, which was set to expire in June of 2019, has been extended through 2021 with the potential for additional years based on achievement.

“Coach Avent has led NC State baseball for over two decades, and we’re glad he will continue as our leader for years to come,” said Director of Athletics, Debbie Yow.  “He works tirelessly, recruits at a high level, and we look forward to his continued leadership.”

Santoro agreed to a two-year extension to his current agreement, which puts him under contract for five years through 2022.

“Coach Santoro continues to do an exceptional job building our women’s soccer program. He recruits at a high level, has elevated NC State, and this contract reflects our commitment.”
Last season, Avent guided the Wolfpack to a 40-win season, highlighted by hosting an NCAA Regional in Raleigh for the sixth time in program history, all of which have come under his direction. The Wolfpack won its first seven ACC series and tied the program record with 19 conference wins.

NC State finished the year ranked No. 22 in the D1 Baseball Poll, which marks the 16th consecutive season that the Wolfpack has either started or finished the year ranked among the top 25 of a major poll. The Pack also made history with four players selected in the top-10 rounds of the 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft.

In 2013, he led the Wolfpack to the College World Series (CWS) and has taken NC State to the NCAA Tournament in 17 of his 22 seasons at the helm, including 14 of the last 16 seasons.

Avent is the winningest head coach in program history and is just one of 17 active NCAA Division I baseball head coaches with 1,000 or more career wins. The 2019 season will be his 23rd leading the Wolfpack.

“NC State has always been where my heart is, and I’ve spent the better part of my professional life striving to build a program our campus, alumni, and community can share a sense of pride in,” said Avent. “There is a tremendous amount of pride that connects our players and staff, both past and present. Together we have amassed years of sustained success that has created such a passionate and loyal fan base.

“I look forward to leading the Wolfpack for years to come maintaining the consistency that has become a hallmark of NC State baseball.”

Last season, Santoro led NC State to the NCAA Second Round with a 15-5-2 record, marking the most wins for the program since 1995. The campaign was highlighted by a third-place finish in the ACC regular season standings and the program’s first ACC Championship semifinal appearance since 1995.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at NC State and in Raleigh and am so thankful to Debbie and the administration for having faith in me to continue building on what started a few years back,” said Santoro. “While we’ve made some great strides, there’s still so much more to accomplish and I’m just excited for the opportunity to keep leading a top ACC program that’s part of a great institution, in a great city and surrounded by great people.”

The women’s soccer team finished with a final RPI of 23, setting its best mark in program history since the NCAA began archiving the stat in 2000. The Wolfpack improved 11 spots from 2016 when the team earned a then program-best RPI of 34, and has made a 197-spot improvement from 220th in 2015.

NC State also clinched back-to-back ACC Championship berths for the first time since 2003-04 and earned consecutive NCAA Championship appearances for the first time since 1995-96.

The Pack additionally finished 21st in the final United Soccer Coaches poll, 23rd in Soccer America’s and 16th in Top Drawer Soccer’s, marking the first back-to-back top 25 finishes for the program since 1991-92.

Santoro is in his sixth season leading the women’s soccer program and was the NSCAA Southeast Region Coach of the Year and a finalist for National Coach of the Year in 2016.

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NC State basketball completed their NBA Combine-like testing this week

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If you’ve followed our site through the years, then you know that NC State does an annual NBA-Combine like testing called ‘BAM.’ This is where they test speed, strength, and agility and get back precise data, which shows their offseason improvements.

They did this under Gottfried as well, but something tells me that the data that is returned is going to be utilized a bit better under Keatts. Here is a full explanation of what they went through…

And here is a little video (and some pictures) of the process…

We’re working on getting some numbers back, but as of right now it seems as if Keatts is keeping this data close to the vest. We’ll update you when we know more…

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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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