Top 25 Breakdown: No. 6 NC StateSeason Preview
2016 Record: 38-22. RPI: 8.
Coach (Record at school): Elliott Avent (755-466, 20 years).
Ballpark: Doak Field at Dail Park (Capacity: 3,000).
Postseason History: 28 regionals (active streak: 2), 2 CWS trips (last in 2013), 0 national title.
More: Fall Report on NC State
NC State's Projected Lineup
|C||Jack Conley, So.||(6 at-bats)|
|1B||Shane Shepard, Jr.||.258/.396/.461||2||13||1|
|2B||Stephen Pitarra, Jr.||.291/.376/.347||0||25||2|
|3B||Evan Mendoza, Jr.||.362/.417/.449||4||33||3|
|SS||Joe Dunand, Jr.||.297/.345/.424||4||41||3|
|LF||Brett Kinneman, So.||.296/.405/.526||6||32||2|
|CF||Josh McLain, Jr.||.300/.359/.465||4||37||13|
|RF||Brock Deatherage, Jr.||.317/.395/.482||6||39||14|
|DH||Brad Debo, Fr.||HS—Hillsborough, N.C.|
|LHP||Brian Brown, Jr.||7-3||3.70||87.2||79||32||0|
|RHP||Dalton Feeney, Fr.||HS—Bismarck, N.D.|
|LHP||Cody Beckman, R-Jr.||2-0||6.05||19.1||23||8||0|
|RP||Johnny Piedmonte, R-Sr.||1-3||5.56||34||28||22||1|
Grading The Wolfpack
Just as scouts grade prospects using the 20-80 scouting scale, we use a 20-80 scale to evaluate teams in our top 25. A score of 50 in each category is average, relative to a typical NCAA tournament team; 55 is slightly above-average; 60 is above-average (plus); 70 is well above-average (plus-plus); 80 is top of the scale, historically strong. Accordingly, 45 is fringe-average or slightly below-average; 40 is below-average; 30 is well below-average; and 20 is the extreme in that direction.
The Wolfpack brings back six regulars from a team that ranked inside the nation’s top 35 in batting, scoring, doubles, home runs and slugging. This is a deep lineup with a nice blend of accomplished line-drive hitters from the right side (Mendoza, Dunand, McLain) and the left (Deatherage, Kinneman, Pitarra).
Mendoza is the team’s best pure hitter, with an advanced approach, superb barrel awareness and emerging pop. Pitarra and McLain are good athletes with excellent bat control who should serve as disruptive table-setters. Kinneman, like Mendoza, is a natural born hitter with a nice gap-to-gap approach, and Dunand is another physical run producer in the heart of the order, coming off an all-star summer in the Cape League. Shepard’s calling card is his raw power from the left side, but the Wolfpack coaches say he has the best plate discipline on the team, making him a breakout candidate.
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