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MLB 2023 Season PackPros Roundup

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Five former NC State baseball players played in the Major Leagues in 2023. Here’s a roundup of how it went for the four of them.

Shortstop Trea Turner signed an 11-year $300 million contract with Philadelphia heading into the 2023 season. Turner was coming off of his 2nd All-Star game appearance. 2023 was a little bit of a mixed bag for Turner. Through much of the season, the Phillies looked like they had made a terrible investment in Turner, but he finished the season extremely well. He finished his first season in Philly with a batting average of .266, which is the lowest of his career, if you don’t count the .225 he batted in his first year in the MLB, batting .225 in only 27 games. With that being said, his 26 home runs were the 2nd most of his career, and he stole 30 bases for the first time since 2021. Turner’s 102 Runs ranked 10th in the National League, and his 30 Stolen Bases ranked 9th.

Turner was taken with the 13th overall pick in 2014.

Carlos Rodon’s first year in New York was his worst season in the MLB to date. After signing a 6-year $162 million with the Yankees in the offseason, expectations were high for what Rodon would bring to the Yankees. He was coming off of back-to-back All-Star seasons in Chicago and San Francisco. Injury has plagued Rodon at times throughout his career, and the injury bug struck three times this season. As a result, Rodon only started 14 games. He finished the season with a 3-8 record, and a outrageous 6.85 ERA.

Rodon was taken with the 3rd overall pick in 2014.

Catcher Patrick Bailey made his MLB debut this season. He was called up from Triple A to the Giants on May 19. While Bailey’s offensive numbers won’t ‘wow’ you, he was one of the best fielding catchers in all of the MLB this year. In 97 games, Bailey posted a .233 batting average, with 7 HRs and 48 RBI. In fielding, Bailey was the best in the Majors in Framing, 2nd in Pop Time, and 2nd in Caught Stealing Above Average. He ranked 6th, throwing out 15 base stealers.

Bailey was taken with the 13th overall pick in 2020.

Catcher Andrew Knizner entered the year on thin ice with the St. Louis Cardinals organization and the fanbase, but by seasons end, he became a fan favorite. Despite the fact that he is behind starter Willson Contreras, Knizner played 70 games, and looked like a starting MLB catcher in many of them. Knizner finished with a career high in batting average (.241), Runs (30), 2B (11), HR (10), RBI (31), SLG (.424) and OPS (.712). Technically Knizner doesn’t become an undrafted free agent until 2026, signing a 1-year $1.1 million contract in arbitration prior to the season.

Knizner was taken in the 7th round in 2016.

Pitcher Evan Justice was called up to the Colorado Rockies for a brief stint in his first season of professional baseball. Things didn’t go well after the call up, posting an 8.59 ERA in 9 appearances, striking out 7 batters in 7.1 innings. As a result, he was optioned back down to Triple-A. In 2023, Justice pitched in A, AA, AAA and the majors. In the minors, he had an impressive 6-1 record with a 3.49 ERA, striking out an impressive 63 batters in 38.2 innings. Opponents batting average against him was a putrid .131, and his WHIP was 1.11.

Justice was taken in the 5th round in 2021.

Matthew is Publisher and Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He is also the Lead Pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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Pack in the Pros

NC State NBA 2024 Summer League Update: 7/18/24

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Last night, 3 former NC State players were in action in the 2024 Las Vegas NBA Summer League.

Jarkel Joiner was tied for the most points scored in the Hawks 87-86 loss to the Lakers, with 17 points in 24 minutes. Joiner was 6 of 12 from the field, and 4 of 7 from three. He also had 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

Mohamed Diarra shined in his first action in the Las Vegas Summer League, with 8 points in 11 minutes of play for the Lakers. He was 3 of 5 from the field, and 1 of 2 from three. Diarra also had 3 rebounds.

DJ Burns had 4 points in 8 minutes of play in the Cavs 96-85 loss to the Warriors. He was 2 of 3 from the field.

This evening, Diarra and the Lakers will play Burns and the Cavs at 9pm on ESPN.

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Pack in the Pros

NC State NBA 2024 Summer League Midweek Update

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Here’s a rundown of how the 6 former NC State Basketball players that are playing in the 2024 NBA Summer League have played over the past two days.

On Monday, Terquavion Smith had 7 points in 8 minutes of play, shooting 3 of 6 from the field, and 1 of 3 from three in Portland’s 97-95 win over the 76ers. Last night, Smith didn’t play in the Trail Blazers’ 82-80 win over the Wizards.

On Monday, Mohamed Diarra didn’t play in the Lakers’ 88-74 loss to the Celtics. Diarra has yet to see the court in the Las Vegas Summer League.

Last night, Dereon Seabron had 6 points and 5 rebounds in 19 minutes of play in the Bulls’ 85-77 loss to the Pistons. He was 3 of 5 from the field.

DJ Horne only played 6 minutes last night in the Spurs’ 90-85 win over the Pelicans, failing to score any points. He was 0-2 from the field.

Tonight, Diarra and the Lakers will play Jarkel Joiner and the Hawks at 9:30pm on ESPN.

DJ Burns and the Cavs will play Golden State at 10pm on ESPN+.

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Pack in the Pros

NBA 2024 Summer League Weekend 1: NC State Update

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NC State has 6 former players playing in the 2024 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas currently.

You can check out the recap from Day 1 (Friday) here.

Forward DJ Burns had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in Cleveland’s 112-81 win over the Bucks last night in 15 minutes of play. He was 3 of 5 from the field.

Guard Jarkel Joiner had 6 points, 3 assists and 1 rebound in Atlanta’s 79-76 loss to San Antonio in 14 minutes of play last night. He was 3 of 5 from the field.

Guard DJ Horne didn’t play on Saturday, but he had 7 points and 2 rebounds in the Spurs’ 79-76 win over the Hawks in 11 minutes of play last night. He was 2 of 7 from the field, and 1 of 4 from three.

On Saturday, Guard Terquavion Smith had 3 points, 1 rebound and 1 assists in 8 minutes of play in Portland’s 83-77 loss to San Antonio. He was 1 of 5 from the field, and 1 of 3 from three.

Guard Dereon Seabron didn’t play for the Bulls in either of their games on Saturday or Sunday.

Today’s Schedule

Terquavion Smith and the Blazers will play the 76ers at 8:30pm on ESPN+.

Mohamed Diarra and the Lakers will play the Celtics at 10:30pm on ESPN+.

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Cleveland Drafts NC State’s Jacob Cozart in the 2nd Round of the 2024 MLB Draft

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The Cleveland Guardians drafted NC State Junior Catcher Jacob Cozart in the 2nd Round of the 2024 MLB Draft, with the 48th overall pick.

Cozart earned All-American honors from D1Baseball, Baseball America and Perfect Game this year, as well as 1st Team All-ACC honors. He was 1 of 3 Finalists for the Buster Posey Award.

This season, Cozart hit .305 with 19 Home Runs. His OBP was .437, and his OPS was 1.038.

The last Wolfpack Catcher to be drafted this high was Patrick Bailey, who was taken in the 1st Round by the San Francisco Giants in the 2020 Draft, with the 13th overall pick.

Only 22 NC State players have been drafted in the 1st two rounds. Cozart is tied for the 17th highest drafted player in Wolfpack history.

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