The usual names top the Pack’s MLB players, while a handful of recent stars have hit some roadblocks after a strong middle of the season. Here are some of the noteworthy Pack pros as Major League Baseball and its minor leagues hit the home stretches of their seasons.
Trea Turner, Shortstop, Washington Nationals
Since returning from a hand injury that cost him almost 40 games, Turner has returned to his usual consistent self and has even been providing some power as of late.
Turner has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the last month. In 27 games since July 23, Turner is hitting .333/.403/.544, with six home runs over that span. To put into perspective how powerful Turner has been, if he were to keep up that same pace for the remainder of the season, he would hit 36 home runs in 162 games.
Andrew Knizner, Catcher, St. Louis Cardinals
The former Pack catcher was with the Cardinals’ big-league squad from July 14 until Aug. 11, where he hit .229/.308/.371. Knizner’s offensive production wasn’t great but was more than serviceable for a catcher as good defensively as he is.
Knizner nailed 75% of would-be base stealers during his stint with the Cardinals and was a brick wall behind the plate, conceding zero passed balls in 97 innings at catcher.
Brock Deatherage, Outfielder, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers)
Deatherage has cooled off considerably after a hot stretch in June and early July. Since July 19, Deatherage is hitting just .165/.196/.282, bringing his season-long slash line down to a poor .226/.266/.353 clip.
One area Deatherage hasn’t struggled with is his speed. In just 106 games, Deatherage has swiped 40 bags at an 80% success rate and racked up 10 triples, utilizing his speed to take extra bases whenever possible.
Brett Kinneman, Outfielder, West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates)
The Pack’s 2018 home runs leader hasn’t been able to translate his power from the collegiate level to the pros, as he’s compiled just two home runs and 11 total extra-base hits in 167 at-bats with the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers and low-A West Virginia.
Strikeouts have plagued Kinneman all season; the lefty has struck out 66 times in 201 plate appearances, including fanning 12 times over his last seven games. If Kinneman is going to figure things out at the plate, it’s likely going to have to start with cutting back on his strikeouts.
Joe Dunand, Infielder, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins)
As one of three first- or second-round pick shortstops to come out of NC State since 2014, Dunand has struggled for much of the season but has picked things up a bit as of late.
Dunand is slashing .250/.359/.375 over his last nine games, a stark improvement upon his season-long slash line of .231/.301/.315. Dunand has struggled in the field as well, with 14 errors in 118 games (67 at shortstop, 51 at third base).
Jon Olczak, Pitcher, Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers)
The 25-year-old North Carolina native has been excellent the last two-plus months, posting a 0.84 ERA with only five walks in 21.1 innings pitched over his last 16 games since June 10.
Olczak has been electric as of late, as the reliever is currently riding an eight-game (10.2 innings) scoreless streak and has allowed just two runs since June 10.
Cody Beckman, Pitcher, Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers)
Pitching just 30 minutes outside of Raleigh in Zebulon, Beckman has hit a rough patch after an extended series of strong outings. The southpaw has an 8.56 ERA in his last 11 games, surrendering 13 earned runs in 14.2 innings pitched during that span.
However, Beckman pitched three scoreless innings on Monday and may be able to ride that momentum to a strong season finish.
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, AZL Dodgers Lasorda (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Will Gilbert, Pitcher, Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics)
Ryan Williamson, Pitcher, Hagerstown Suns (Washington Nationals)