The Wolfpacker

September 2015

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 89 of 95

90 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY RYAN TICE N C State boasts one of the NFL's top young players in Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. After a pair of championship game appearances in his first three years and winning the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVIII, he doesn't qualify as a rising star anymore. The former third-round pick signed a four-year, $87.6-million contract extension, making him the second-highest paid player in NFL history for annual salary — at just $100,000 per year less than Green Bay Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers. There is no debating that Wilson, who is 42-14 in his three years as the starter, stands as one of the league's top quarterbacks and now the Seahawks are paying him like it. However, NCSU still has plenty of for- mer stars rising in the professional ranks. Here's a look at former Wolfpackers who are the headliners of tomorrow across all sports. Carlos Rodon, LHP, Chicago White Sox The No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft did not stay in the minor leagues long. He made his debut in The Show April 21 and pitched in three games out of the bullpen before the White Sox moved him into the starting rotation. Typical of a rookie in the majors, Rodon has been up and down, but there's no deny- ing his potential. The southpaw had pitched in 18 games as of Aug. 6 and struck out 90 against 50 walks in 84²/ ³ innings of work. He owns a record of 4-4 with a 5.00 ERA, but has continued to show flashes of what made him such a high draft pick. On July 26 in a 2-1 win over Cleveland, he threw six and two-thirds shutout innings and allowed just five hits and no walks while striking out nine. He has thrown at least 92 pitches in 12 of his last 14 starts, and gone six or more innings while allowing two or less earned runs in eight of them. Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals Turner has become almost synonymous with Rodon — and classmate catcher Brett Austin, who was named a Class A all-star this midseason, shouldn't be forgotten ei- ther. Turner has made a similar rise after finding himself in a unique situation with the San Diego Padres, who drafted him 13th overall last year. As part of the worst kept secret in base- ball, the shortstop was "the player to be named later" in a three-team trade com- pleted during the offseason that resulted in him being moved from the Padres to the Washington Nationals. However, MLB has a rule that prevents players from being dealt until a year after they sign so Turner was not eligible to go to his new squad until June 13. After playing on the Class A level — and doing quite well — last year, he began this season with San Diego's Double-A affiliate in San Antonio. He hit .322 with five hom- ers, 35 RBI and 11 steals in 58 games, be- fore the transaction officially went through. He spent just 10 games with Washing- ton's Double-A squad — hitting .359 with four RBI and four steals — before moving up to their top minor league club, the Tri- ple-A Syracuse Chiefs. Through 40 games, he was hitting .301 with three home runs, 14 RBI and 11 steals. Turner also took part in the MLB Futures Game during the All-Star weekend. In that contest of tomorrow's stars, he smashed a two-run double down the left-field line for the victorious U.S. squad. He also recorded a triple in his other at-bat and tied for the lead among all players with five total bases in the contest.'s Jon Heyman has re- ported the Nationals see Turner as their "shortstop of the future," and it would not be surprising if he joined Rodon in the bigs by the end of the year. Heyman reported the Padres even tried to re-acquire Turner, but the Nationals were not willing to do that. ■ PACK PROS Former Wolfpackers Are Rising Stars Across Professional Sports Through Aug. 10, shortstop Trea Turner was hitting .317 with eight home runs, 53 RBI and 26 stolen bases in 108 games between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. PHOTO COURTESY SYRACUSE CHIEFS

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