With the MLB season already past its halfway point and the minor leagues on the other side of their all-star breaks, a handful of former NC State players have been breaking out of slumps and heating up, while a few others have been struggling and are looking to turn things around.
Trea Turner, Shortstop, Washington Nationals
After a brief 2-for-19 slump in the middle of June, Turner has continued his efficient offensive ways, with a .317/.368/.460 slash line since June 22 and five stolen bases on seven attempts.
The 2014 NC State alum has his highest slugging percentage and OPS since 2016 and is once again having a stellar year on the basepaths; Turner is on pace for around 40 stolen bases despite already missing a month and a half of the season.
Andrew Knizner, Catcher/First Baseman, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals)
Knizner has been a force at the plate for the Redbirds as of late, hitting .302 with two home runs and seven RBIs over his last 11 games.
Since getting called sent back down to Memphis after a brief one-week stint with the Cardinals, Knizner has done nothing to show that he won’t be ready whenever his next big-league opportunity arises.
Jake Buchanan, Pitcher, Las Vegas Aviators (Oakland A’s)
After struggling for most of the season, with his ERA climbing over 6.00 on multiple occasions, Buchanan has been strong of late; outside of a rough start on June 28, Buchanan has a 3.27 ERA since June 12.
The 2010 Pack draftee hasn’t pitched in the majors in two years, but more outings like his last, when he struck out seven batters and allowed just two earned runs in seven innings, and he could get another chance.
Brock Deatherage, Outfielder, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers)
Although his 20-game on-base streak ended on June 29, Deatherage has been hot at the plate for over a month now, hitting .315 with 10 extra-base hits over his last 26 games.
After seeing his batting average dip below .200, Deatherage is up to .240 on the season and has been a demon on the basepaths with 31 stolen bases in 70 games.
Brett Kinneman, Outfielder, West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates)
The powerful lefty has struggled mightily since being sent down from Single-A Greensboro to Low-A West Virginia in the beginning of June, hitting just .193 with two extra-base hits in 19 games.
The power Kinneman showed off constantly at NC State has abandoned him in the minors this season, as he has just six home runs and seven doubles in 64 games.
Joe Dunand, Shortstop, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins)
Dunand just saw an eight-game on-base streak during which he hit .345 with three walks come to an end on Friday.
The Pack’s 2017 second-round pick has shown off some impressive gap-to-gap power in the minors this season, with 13 doubles and three home runs.
Jon Olczak, Pitcher, San Antonio Missions (Milwaukee Brewers)
Olczak has allowed just one run in his last seven appearances, pitching to the tune of a 0.90 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Olczak has been good for the majority of the season, but a five-run and six-run outing on April 8 and June 10, respectively, have inflated his ERA to a 5.58 number that is not totally representative of how he’s pitched.
Jack Conley, Catcher, Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia Phillies)
Conley has struggled in limited opportunities for the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws and High-A Clearwater, hitting just .190 with four extra-base hits in 79 at-bats.
Conley has had some issues throwing out potential base-stealers as well, nailing runners at just a 29% clip.
Cody Beckman, Pitcher, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers)
Beckman is pitching well back in the friendly confines of North Carolina, posting a 3.05 ERA in 26 relief appearances. The 6-foot-2 lefty’s success is due in large part to his excellent avoidance of allowing the long ball; he’s allowed just three home runs in 41.1 innings of work.
Tommy DeJuneas, Pitcher, Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros)
After a strong showing in High-A Fayetteville earned him a call-up to Double-A on June 3, DeJuneas has struggled in nine appearances with the Hooks.
DeJuneas has allowed eight earned runs in 11.1 innings and has seriously struggled with his command, walking 11 batters.
Other baseball Pack Pros:
*Carlos Rodon, Pitcher, Chicago White Sox
*Evan Mendoza, Infielder, Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals)
Preston Palmeiro, Infielder, Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles)
Tim Naughton, Pitcher, Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles)
Josh McLain, Outfielder, Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Will Gilbert, Pitcher, Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s)
Ryan Williamson, Pitcher, Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals)