The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 91 of 95

■ PACK PROS ary, with several former NC State stand- outs trying to make a positive impression in hopes of realizing their Major League Baseball dreams. Three players — all pitchers — re- P ported to spring training already on their respective teams' 40-man rosters. Southpaw Eric Surkamp is vying to start the campaign with the San Francisco Giants. The 24-year-old led all Double-A pitchers in ERA last season (2.02), and was second in both strikeouts (165) and batting average against (.213). The stellar season earned the 6-4, 190-pounder a call-up to the big leagues in late August, and he went 2-2 with a 5.74 ERA in six starts. Surkamp is expected to compete for a spot in the Giants' rotation and is listed by as the organization's No. 4 prospect. Another player who made his big league debut at the end of last year and opens the season on a 40-man roster is new Cincinnati Reds right- hander Andrew Brackman. The 6-10 hurler returned to his home- town after the New York Yankees declined his contract option at the end of last season. The former first- round selection earned a Septem- ber promotion with his previous club and experienced three short stints out of the bullpen. However, Brackman struggled with control at times in the minors last year, and finished with a 3-6 record, a 6.00 ERA, 75 walks and 75 strikeouts in 96 innings over 33 appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Meanwhile, veteran Joey Devine burst onto the scene as a rookie re- lief pitcher for the Oakland Ath- letics in 2008 and finished with a MLB-record 0.59 ERA, but has not enjoyed a healthy campaign since. The 28-year-old righty finally re- turned to the field last year and pitched in 26 games for the A's and 23 more with the club's Triple-A franchise. After he missed the pre- vious two full seasons, Devine told the Athletics' official website that 2011 was a step in the right direc- tion despite his recent struggles. 92 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY RYAN TICE Former Wolfpackers Get Ready To Play Ball "Last year was probably the toughest itchers and catchers started reporting to spring training in the middle of Febru- year of my career, even more than the two years I missed, because it was such a roller- coaster [ride]," he said. "So many ups and downs. But I feel like I'm the strongest I've ever been, and my goal is to be in the big leagues all year, and to be a contributing factor to this team. As far as roles, I'm not too concerned." Devine will be competing for Oakland's wide-open closer role this spring. "My vision is always as a closer," he said. "I was a closer in college and at all three levels of the minor leagues, and did it toward the end of '08. "Of course, I would love to be the team's closer, and that's what I'm going to work toward. But my biggest thing is going to be to stay healthy, and the rest will take care of itself." Two other former NC State play- ers will open the spring in big- league camps as non-roster invi- tees: first baseman Aaron Bates (Minnesota Twins) and shortstop Jonathan Diaz (Toronto Blue Jays). Both players are considered long shots to make the big league clubs, but could do so with impressive showings. In addition to Surkamp, two other Eric Surkamp, who is vying to start the season with the San Francisco Giants, led all Double-A pitchers in ERA last season (2.02), and was second in both strikeouts (165) and batting average against (.213). PHOTO COURTESY SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ■ Former NC State Players In Professional Baseball Name, Position (Years at NC State) 2012 Organization Roster? Aaron Bates, 1B (2005-06) Andrew Brackman, RHP (2005-07) Sam Brown, RHP (2007-09) Jake Buchanan, RHP (2008-10) Matt Camp, OF (2003-06) Rob Chamra, RHP (2003-06) Joey Devine, RHP (2003-05) Jonathan Diaz, SS (2004-06) Jimmy Gillheeney, LHP (2007-09) Pratt Maynard, C (2009-11) Cory Mazzoni, RHP (2009-11) Jake Muyco, RHP (2004-05) Dallas Poulk, 2B (2007-10) Drew Poulk, OF (2009-10) Harold Riggins, 1B (2009-11) Chris Schaeffer, C (2008-11) Clayton Shunick, RHP (2007-08) Alex Sogard, LHP (2008-10) Eric Surkamp, LHP (2006-08) Jeremy Synan, OF (2006-08) Andrew Taylor, LHP (2006-08) * Non-roster spring training invitee Minnesota Twins* Cincinnati Reds Washington Nationals Houston Astros Chicago Cubs Los Angeles Dodgers Oakland Athletics Toronto Blue Jays* Seattle Mariners Los Angeles Dodgers New York Mets Chicago Cubs Miami Marlins Cincinnati Reds Colorado Rockies Toronto Blue Jays Cincinnati Reds Houston Astros San Francisco Giants Miami Marlins Los Angeles Angels Yes No No No No Yes No No No No No No No No No No No Yes No No On 40-Man No Wolfpackers are listed among their franchise's top 20 prospects. Right- handed pitcher Jake Buchanan, an eighth-round selection in the 2010 MLB Draft, is listed as the Hous- ton Astros' No. 14 minor leaguer and righty Cory Mazzoni, a second- round selection in last year's draft, checks in as the New York Mets' No. 20 prospect. Six Former Standouts Take Part In NFL Combine More than a handful of former NC State players took part in the annual NFL Scouting Combine, which was held from Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis. The players selected included wide receiver T.J. Gra- ham, defensive tackles J.R. Sweezy and Markus Kuhn, and linebackers Audie Cole and Terrell Manning, who completed his redshirt junior season in 2011. Former quarterback Russell Wil- son, who wrapped up his career with a Rose Bowl berth at Wiscon- sin, also accepted an invitation to the event. The former two-sport star has said that he has given up profes- sional baseball and is focused on football at this time. ■

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - March 2012