Former Wolfpack Star Trea Turner Leads
NC College Products In MLB Postseason
(Also: Campbell, Duke, ECU, UNC, UNCW)
By David Glenn
NC Sports Network

Amidst the exciting backdrop of Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon’s recent declaration regarding his desire and efforts to bring a Major League Baseball expansion franchise to Raleigh, professional baseball fans can spend the rest of October enjoying a wide variety of North Carolina high school and college products now competing in the MLB playoffs.

Perhaps the most famous example is former NC State shortstop Trea Turner, who is now in the first season of an 11-year, $300 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Turner, 30, is in his ninth year at the MLB level and also represents Team USA in international competition. He helped the Washington Nationals to the World Series title in 2019, and he was an All-MLB honoree and All-Star Game selection in both 2021 and 2022. He has led the National League in batting average once (2021) and in stolen bases twice (2018, 2021).

The 13th overall pick in the 2014 MLB amateur draft, Turner played three seasons (2012-2014) for long-time Wolfpack baseball coach Elliott Avent at NC State, posting a school-record 57 stolen bases as a freshman and earning All-ACC honors all three years. The Pack posted one of the best seasons in program history during Turner’s time in Raleigh, finishing 50-16 and advancing to the College World Series in 2013.

When Turner helped the Nationals to the 2019 MLB championship, he became just the fourth Wolfpack baseball product to earn a World Series ring, joining second baseman Jimmy Brown (1942 St. Louis Cardinals), relief pitcher Tim Stoddard (1983 Baltimore Orioles) and third baseman Tracy Woodson (1988 Dodgers). The 6-foot-7 Stoddard, who helped the Wolfpack to three straight ACC baseball titles from 1973-75, also was a key member of the Pack’s 1974 NCAA championship basketball team under coach Norm Sloan.

Turner has remained close to NC State in the near-decade since his jump to professional baseball. Earlier this year, he and his wife Kristen, a former Wolfpack gymnast, made a $1 million pledge to the university’s athletic program that will benefit both the baseball and gymnastics teams.

“We couldn’t have enjoyed our time at NC State more and are very proud to say we are Wolfpack alumni,” Turner said. “Kristen and I are humbled and honored to be able to give back and make a difference for the university.”

There are 18 Division One baseball programs in North Carolina, and six of them are represented in this year’s baseball playoffs: Campbell (two players), Duke (one), East Carolina (two), North Carolina (two), NC State (one) and UNC Wilmington (two). Please see below for the entire postseason list.

Former UNC pitcher Zac Gallen, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, is another prominent North Carolina college baseball product.

A third-round draft pick in 2016, Gallen made his MLB debut in 2019 and has thrived over the last two seasons with Arizona. This year (34 starts, 17-9, 3.47 ERA) has been his best; he earned an invitation to the All-Star Game and recently won Game Two of the National League Wild Card Series, as the Diamondbacks eliminated the Milwaukee Brewers.

From the North Carolina high school (but not college) ranks, the most prominent player in this year’s MLB playoffs is 29-year-old Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager.

Seager starred at Northwest Cabarrus High School in Kannapolis before jumping straight into professional baseball. The 18th overall selection in the 2012 MLB draft, Seager became a World Series champion and World Series MVP in 2020, while with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s also a four-time MLB All-Star, including this year, his first with the Rangers after signing a 10-year, $325 million contract during the offseason.

One final, fun North Carolina-based MLB story to follow is that of Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Bryse Wilson, a product of Orange High School in Hillsborough, although the Brewers’ postseason recently ended in the Wild Card round. He is the older brother of NC State football star Payton Wilson.

2023 MLB Playoff Participants

(NC Division One Programs)


Cedric Mullins, CF, Baltimore
Ryan Thompson, P, Arizona


Bryce Jarvis, P, Arizona

East Carolina

Shawn Armstrong, P, Tampa Bay*
Jeff Hoffman, P, Philadelphia

North Carolina

Zac Gallen, P, Arizona
Jacob Stallings, C, Miami

NC State

Trea Turner, SS, Philadelphia

UNC Wilmington

Ryan Jeffers, C, Minnesota*
Evan Phillips, P, LA Dodgers*

*-also listed below (both high school and college in NC)

NOTE: North Carolina’s other D1 baseball programs are at Appalachian State, Charlotte, Davidson, Elon, Gardner-Webb, High Point, North Carolina A&T, Queens, UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro, Wake Forest and Western Carolina.

2023 MLB Playoff Participants
(North Carolina High Schools)

Shawn Armstrong, P, Tampa Bay (West Craven HS, Vanceboro)
Ryan Jeffers, C, Minnesota (Sanderson HS, Raleigh)
Zack Littell, P, Tampa Bay (Eastern Alamance HS, Mebane)
Bailey Ober, P, Minnesota (Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte)
Evan Phillips, P, LA Dodgers (Clayton HS, Clayton)
Corey Seager, SS, Texas (Northwest Cabarrus HS, Kannapolis)
Bryse Wilson, P, Milwaukee, (Orange HS, Hillsborough)
Weston Wilson, INF/OF, Philadelphia (Wesleyan Christian Academy, High Point)

BELOW: NC State basketball legend Chris Corchiani is a life-long fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, a close friend of Elliott Avent and Trea Turner, and a huge supporter of Wolfpack athletics. We discussed Turner and the Phillies during Corchiani’s recent visit to the David Glenn Show, which he joined while visiting Avent at NC State.