Andrew Knizner

Sophomore infielder Andrew Knizner looks to step up and fill the shoes of teammates who were drafted by professional teams.

With the MLB season one-third of the way done already and more NC State players likely to join the ranks of the Wolfpack alumni in the MLB and its minor leagues, let’s take a look at the former Pack players currently playing in MLB systems.

Andrew Knizner, Catcher/First Baseman, St. Louis Cardinals

Knizner is in the midst of a fantastic season, with 40 hits and 22 runs, as well as five home runs, 17 RBIs and only 20 strikeouts in 140 at-bats for the AAA affiliate of the Cardinals, the Memphis Redbirds. Knizner is also slashing an impressive .286/.355/.450.

Knizner’s strong season earned him an MLB call-up to the St. Louis Cardinals on May 31, and he is getting his first MLB start on Sunday, June 2 in the Cardinals attempt to sweep the Chicago Cubs.

Trea Turner, Shortstop, Washington Nationals

Turner missed a number of games for the Nationals after sustaining an injury in the first series of his 2019 MLB season. However, Turner has since returned and has a good fielding percentage of .926, though this number would mark his lowest since 2015.

On the offensive side of the field, Turner has been nothing short of efficient, slashing a .286/.329/.455 line in 77 plate appearances.

Carlos Rodon, Pitcher, Chicago White Sox

Rodon only pitched in seven games this season, dealing with injury before opting for Tommy John surgery, which will put him out of baseball activities until next season. It is unlikely he returns for the White Sox until the second half of the 2020 season according to reports.

In his seven games pitched, Rodon went 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA.

Evan Mendoza, Third Baseman, Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals)

Mendoza has moved up one spot on the Cardinals prospect watch list, from 30 to 29. However, this season has not been his best, although he is still hitting a decent .250/.292/.322 line. As a result, Mendoza was moved down from the Redbirds, to the AA affiliate, the Springfield Cardinals.

Mendoza also has one home run and 18 RBIs on the year.

Jake Buchanan, Pitcher, Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland A’s)

Buchanan has played and started in 11 games so far this season, posting a 6.00 ERA. Buchanan has allowed 12 home runs, which is a good chunk of his 82 home runs allowed in his entire career since 2010. Buchanan will likely bounce back, as this season has been a statistical anomaly for the pitcher.

Brock Deatherage, Outfielder, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers)

Deatherage has played in 43 games for the Flying Tigers, scoring 22 runs on 31 hits, with one home run, but his batting has been mediocre. Deatherage is slashing a .196/.237/.278 line so far this season, a far cry from his career line of .273/.327/.412.

Brett Kinneman, Outfielder, Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Kinneman is back in North Carolina, now playing for the Class A affiliate of the Pirates, the Grasshoppers. Kinneman has loaded the stats sheet with five home runs and 26 RBI’s, but has been inefficient at the plate, only posting a .160 batting average.

Joe Dunand, Shortstop, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins)

In his relatively successful season thus far, Dunand has 172 plate appearances with a slash line of .209/.272/.273. While the slash line is not anything to write home about, Dunand has 36 hits, with two home runs and an impressive 19 RBI’s.

Jon Olczak, Pitcher, San Antonio Missions (Milwaukee Brewers)

Olczak has had a somewhat rough start to his season in the minors, posting a 1-2 record and a 5.09 ERA. However, Olczak only has 17.2 innings pitched, so there is plenty of time to improve these numbers.

Jack Conley, Catcher, Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies)

Conley is now with the BlueClaws, the Class A affiliate of the Phillies. Conley has a .224/.321/.286 slash line, with five runs on the season.

Cody Beckman, Pitcher, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers)

Beckman is posting a 3.25 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched, posting a 2-2 record overall. Beckman is still with the Mudcats, and will look to earn a call-up this season.

Tommy DeJuneas, Pitcher, Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston Astros)

DeJuneas is not playing at his peak this season, with a mediocre 4.24 ERA in 16 games played. DeJuneas is a young prospect for the Astros, having been selected in 2017, however, and this sort of a slump is not unusual for young pitchers.

Other baseball Pack Pros:

Preston Palmeiro, Infielder, Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles)

Tim Naughton, Pitcher, Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles)

Josh McLain, Outfielder, AZL Dodgers 1 (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Will Gilbert, Pitcher, Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s)

Ryan Williamson, Pitcher, GCL Nationals (Washington Nationals)