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College  | Story  | 3/22/2018

Quick Take: North Carolina State

Patrick Ebert     
Photo: NC State Athletics

Perfect Game College Player Database | Quick Take: Clemson

During the season Perfect Game scouts will be traveling to some of the top series to watch the very best players in college baseball. Those observations, captured with both written notes and video, will be shared in the College Player Database as linked above, notes that can also be accessed on the players' individual PG profile pages. Throughout the season select reports will be shared in feature format to promote the players, the teams and college baseball as a whole.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

What Happened: NC State continued their incredibly hot start to the 2018 season, going on the road and beating the Clemson Tigers, which marked the first time in school history that the Wolfpack had accomplished that feat. NC State shut out Clemson in game one, won by a 6-1 margin in game two and squeezed by 5-4 in game three thanks to Will Wilson's solo home run in the top of the eighth inning, his second of the game.

Carrying Tool: The #Pack9 offense truly has a team feel to it, with incredibly patient, if not dangerous, hitters scattered throughout their lineup, 1-9. Brett Kinneman has put himself in the conversation for the Golden Spikes Award given his incredibly hot start while Will Wilson and Evan Edwards are two more dangerous bats. Outfielders Josh McLain and Brock Deatherage add some athleticism to the lineup while Brad Debo is dangerous power threat, and look out once second baseman and leadoff hitter Stephen Pitarra returns to the lineup as one of the nation's most prolific run-scoring units could get even better.

Concerns: Getting Michael Bienlien back, who tossed five shutout frames on Friday, was huge, as he and their true staff ace, pitchability lefty Brian Brown, who baffled the Clemson hitters all day Saturday, gives the team two legitimate starting pitchers. However, finding a third to round out the weekend rotation will be key to the overall success of the team, as they have the bullpen depth and offensive firepower to advance deep into the season. It could be Nick Swiney, who started Sunday but got off to a shaky start.

Best Player on the Field: The team's 2-4 hitters – Kinneman, Wilson and Edwards – are a lethal trio, and overall they have a nice right-left-right-left balance throughout their lineup, which only makes it that much more difficult to navigate.

Fearless Forecast: This team has dealt with some incredibly hard luck situations each of the last three years, seeing their season end in heart-breaking fashion in the postseason. The law of averages alone should mean better fortune will be on their side this year. Given the way they're playing right now, and the fact that the ACC as a whole seems to be a little down across the league, and you have a likely Regional host that should draw a favorable seed and a strong Super Regional contender with a legitimate chance to make it to Omaha.

Database Player Reports (10):

Brian Brown
Brock Deatherage
Brad Debo
Evan Edwards
Reid Johnston
Brett Kinneman
Kent Klyman
Joe O'Donnell
Nick Swiney
Will Wilson

Prospect Spotlight: Will Wilson, SS

Wilson has followed up his impressive freshman campaign in 2017 with a strong start to the 2018 season, and was arguably the best player on the field during NC State’s weekend series at Clemson. Wilson played a big part of the Wolfpack sweeping the Tigers, going 6-for-12, which included a two home run performance on Sunday, hitting his second solo shot in the top of the eighth inning that broke a 4-4 tie and proved to be the game winner.

Although he’s not overly physical at a listed 6-foot, 175-pounds, Wilson is full of quick-twitch fiber. He has very strong hands, wrists and forearms which generates impressive bat speed, as he quickly turned on fastballs on both of his Sunday home runs to drive the ball out of the park to left field. He’s patient enough to wait for his pitch and aggressive enough to jump all over it when he gets it. In Saturday’s game he hit the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning for a leadoff double, again exhibiting his bat speed by letting the ball travel deep in the zone before impacting it hard to the pull-side gap.

In batting practice he showed a similar approach, looking to hit the ball hard from one alley to the other, continuing to exhibit the strength in his hands. The bat speed and strength allows him to handle premium velocity, as his home runs came off of Clemson starter Jake Higginbotham and reliever Ryan Miller, both of whom were sitting in the low-90s.

Defensively he definitely looks the part of a middle infielder with very quick actions, soft hands and a quick transfer out of his hands. He turned the pivot at second baseman very well with easy, natural actions. He’s more quick than fast, and his arm strength is probably better suited for second base at the next level, but he has more than enough arm and range to play the position at the college level and possibly to begin his professional career. As a sophomore, he isn’t draft eligible until 2019 and could be a first round selection assuming he continues to produce at the plate.