Rodon's Next Stop

Carlos Rodon's college career is likely over. The left-hander made history on Thursday by becoming the highest draft choice ever from N.C. State after the Chicago White Sox selected him with the third pick overall in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Carlos Rodon's college career is likely over.

The left-hander made history on Thursday by becoming the highest draft choice ever from N.C. State after the Chicago White Sox selected him with the third pick overall in the 2014 MLB Draft.

"Carlos was pretty much the consensus guy we had targeted since his sophomore season," White Sox scouting director Doug Laumann told the Chicago Sun Times. "We were pleased that he was there.

"The thing that was most impressive about him was that on the biggest international stage against Cuba, he threw as well as anybody could have in that setting. He maybe didn't have the really dominant year we kind of expected, but you have to consider the history you have. This isn't a one-month or one-year process. We thought he was the consensus best guy on the board."

While his professional adventure is just beginning, Rodon will carry his Wolfpack experience with him for the rest of my life.

After being removed from the game by N.C. State head coach Elliott Avent prior to the start of the eighth inning in his final home game, Rodon was receiving ice treatment in the clubhouse. The grateful fans at Doak Field stood in unison and patiently waited for its hero to give them a curtain call. The Holly Springs-native was both happy and honored to oblige. 

"It ranks right up there with [the College World Series]," Rodon said of the standing ovation he received. "That usually doesn't happen in college baseball. I got a great standing ovation from the fans. It was a pleasure to be able to pitch here at the Doak."

Avent is not surprised that Rodon felt loved by Wolfpack Nation. Rodon's coach knows that the reverence N.C. State fans feel towards him is mutual.

"He loves N.C. State," Avent said. "The heart and character of Carlos Rodon is a lot more important than the stuff. I thought what the fans did, and he was hooked up to the ice machine but they kept on and kept on, it was amazing."

Avent, along with his teammates in Raleigh, had a profound impact on Rodon's career and life. As he embarks on his next adventure in baseball, the lefty feels that the kinship he felt at N.C. State exceeds most. Rodon will certainly be a highly-paid athlete in a short matter of time.

The lefty reciprocates the respect to Avent, his teammates and the University, believing that is a relationship that will endure.   

"Coach Avent is like another father figure for me," Rodon said. "Our team is like the kids he never had.  He is a better man than a coach. My teammates are like my brothers to me. N.C. State is like another home.  This is my backyard. I grew up down the road. I will be a Wolfpacker for the rest of my life."

Look for Rodon to be on the fast track to the Major Leagues, as he has a repertoire of pitches, headlined by his slider.

"When you can bury a slider on the back foot of a right-handed hitter and get it under his hands, you know a guy has a really good one," Laumann said. "It's certainly a dominant pitch, and that's not to take anything away from his fastball and changeup, which are plus pitches."


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