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Six NC State Players Selected On Day Three Of 2019 MLB Draft

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RALEIGH – NC State baseball pitchers Alec Barger, Michael Bienlien, Andrew Blake, Evan Justice and Jason Parker alongside outfielder Thayer Thomas were selected on the third and final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Wednesday.

In total, the Wolfpack had a total of eight players drafted this week. In his 23rd season at the helm of the program, Elliott Avent has had a combined 113 MLB Draft picks. 

This year’s eight picks are the second-most in program history in a single season, as it ties the eight drafted in 2006 and ‘17 and is just one shy the nine selected in 2008.

Additionally, #Pack9 signees Blake Walston (1stround, 26th pick), Noah Soles (19th round, 572ndpick) and Jose Torres (24th round, 733rd pick), as well as junior college transfer Andy Samuelson (12th round, 367th pick) were all drafted this week. Walston and Soles were both selected to the Arizona Diamondbacks while Samuelson and Torres went to the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively.

Jason Parker | RHP | New Bern, N.C.

16th round – 474th pick – Cincinnati Reds

Parker, who played two years at Louisburg Junior College prior to this season, led the pitching staff with 16 starts. He finished the year with a 4.38 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 76.0 innings, the second-best on the team. The North Carolina native earned four wins on the mound, and his career-best outing was when he went seven strong against then-No. 1 Florida State and struck out 10. 

Alec Barger | RHP | Savoy, Ill. 

17th round – 517th pick – Atlanta Braves

Barger spent two seasons at Polk State Community College before transferring to NC State for the 2019 season. He made 17 appearances, including six starts, and finished with a 2-2 record on the mound. Barger compiled a 6.14 earned-run average in 29.1 innings with 35 strikeouts, and his best outing of the season was vs. Elon on March 26 when he went a career-long 5.0 innings and fanned 10.

Andrew Blake | RHP | Lewisville, N.C.

21st round – 631st pick – Los Angeles Angels

Blake spent his first two seasons at Pitt Community College. In his junior year at NC State he picked up the win vs. Pitt after throwing 4.1 innings without allowing a run to score. His longest outing was on March 29 when he went 4.2 innings and fanned six. He finished the 2019 season with a 4.79 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

Michael Bienlien | RHP | Chesapeake, Va.

24th round – 712th pick – Detroit Tigers

Bienlien has made 19 career starts and 53 appearances in his three seasons with the Red and White. He owns a career 5.16 ERA and nine wins in 113.0 innings pitched. His career-long outing was at Notre Dame on April 2, 2017, when he tossed 7.0 innings, and additionally tallied a career-high six strikeouts on two separate occasions. 

Thayer Thomas | OF | Wake Forest, N.C.

33rd round – 1007th pick – Boston Red Sox

Thomas, who also plays for the football team, made 14 game appearances in his first season, including four starts as an outfielder. At the plate he batted .222 with four hits and a .500 slugging percentage, and defensively tallied eight putouts with a 1.000 fielding percentage. His best game of the season was on March 9 vs. Pittsburgh when we went 2-for-2 with a double and home run, driving in a pair of runs while scoring two of his own. 

Evan Justice | LHP | Richmond, Va.

39th round – 1161st pick – Miami Marlins

Justice led the Wolfpack’s bullpen with 29 appearances this season, coming away with four wins, and his 36 K’s were the second-most out of the pen. On Feb. 22 vs. Kent State the sophomore went a career-long 4.0 innings and fanned a career-best five. Overall, he owns a 5.60 career ERA and six wins in 45 appearances and 64.1 innings pitched. 

NC State Baseball

Six of NC State’s Eight Draft Picks Have Signed With MLB Teams

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Obviously Junior Shortstop Will Wilson and Senior 1st Basemen Evan Edwards signed their Major League Baseball contracts after being taken in the 2019 Draft.

Wilson was drafted 15th overall by the Angels, and couldn’t turn that down, and Edwards was out of eligibility at the collegiate level, signing with the Marlins after being drafted in the 4th round.

In total, NC State’s Baseball team produced 7 draft picks this summer, which tied for the 9th most in College Baseball.

Outside of Wilson and Edwards, 4 Junior NC State Pitchers also signed their Major League contracts.

Jason Parker (Reds) and Andrew Blake (Angels) signed on June 11th, Alec Barger (Atlanta Braves) signed on June 17th, and Michael Bienlien (Detroit Tigers) signed on June 23rd.

Redshirt Freshman Outfileder Thayer Thomas (Round 33/Red Sox) and Sophomore Left Handed Pitcher Evan Justice (Round 39/ Marlins) are the only two Wolfpack players drafted that didn’t signed a contract. The deadline was July 12th.

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NC State Produced the 9th Most Draft Picks in 2019

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The 2019 College Baseball season is over, but let’s take a moment to highlight the fact that NC State produced the 9th most picks in the 2019 MLB Draft this year. The 8 Wolfpack Draftees ties for 2nd all-time in school history (2017 & 2006), just one shy of the 9 selected in 2009.

Baseball America

JR SS Will Wilson – 1st Round/15th Overall – Nationals

SR 1B Evan Edwards – 4th Round – Marlins

JR RHP Jason Parker – 16th Round – Reds

JR RHP Alex Barger – 17th Round – Braves

JR RHP Andrew Blake – 21st Round – Angels

JR RHP Michael Bienlien – 24th Round – Tigers

FR OF Thayer Thomas – 33rd Round – Red Sox

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NC State Signee Blake Walston Signs Contract with D-Backs

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2019 NC State Signee Blake Walston (6’4″/172) was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 26th overall pick tonight in the 1st round back on June 3rd.

There was some speculation on whether or not he would sign with the D-Backs, because he wouldn’t come cheap.

Many scouts believe that in three years, he could be one of the top picks in the draft.

We need to speculate no longer.

Walston will bypass college baseball at NC State, and begin his professional baseball career.

Walston’s signing bonus will net him $2.45 million of guaranteed money.

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NC State’s Will Wilson Named Consensus All-American

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RALEIGH – Junior shortstop Will Wilson of the NC State baseball team became the program’s first consensus All-American since 2012 after earning honors from DI Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) over the weekend.

Additionally, he earned second team honors on the College Baseball Foundation’s inaugural All-America list.

The Kings Mountain, N.C., native owns 11 All-America mentions in his career, the second-most in Wolfpack history behind Carlos Rodon. Rodon was the last consensus All-American prior to Wilson and earned 12 in his career.

Wilson was recently drafted by the Los Angeles Angels as the No. 15 overall pick and is currently with the Orem Owlz, the rookie affiliate for the Angels in Orem, Utah.

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