Bless Your Heart Democratic Party. I am a centrist Republican and I think Donald Trump is a terrible person however...

Movin' on up: Packard quickly advances to next level

1 of 3

East Carolina's Bryant Packard, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Tulane on April 27, 2019. (Molly Urbina/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Monday, July 8, 2019

Recent East Carolina star and former D.H. Conley High School standout Bryant Packard needed only 10 games in professional baseball to move on to the next level.

Packard, a 21-year-old outfielder and fifth-round selection this year by the Detroit Tigers, was promoted over the weekend from the short-season Connecticut Tigers to the Single-A West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League.

In his first 10 games, the left-handed hitter and former NCAA All-American produced a .361 batting average and .442 on-base percentage. His 13 hits included two doubles, and in his final game with the Tigers of the New York-Penn League on Friday, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

Packard said Monday, before he started in left field and was third in the batting order in his Single-A debut, that the team culture earlier in Connecticut aided his personal success.

“It was a great experience, and I was blessed to have some of the best coaches who really cared about making it a team culture and getting your work in when needed,” he said.

The next level for Packard to potentially reach is a promotion to the Advanced Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) Flying Tigers. Packard reportedly signed in mid-June for his full draft slot bonus of $386,600.

He and six other players on this year's ECU team, which won the NCAA Greenville Regional and had its season end June 8 in the super regional round at Louisville for a final 47-18 record, were selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

"I love pro baseball and it’s a (pro) mindset," Packard said. "Although I really miss college baseball. ECU was great to me and I can’t wait to be back there in the fall (to visit and work out in the offseason)."

Jake Agnos is beginning his career as a full-time starting pitcher, notching two starts already in the New York Yankees organization after his fourth-round selection. The lefty made his debut last week with the short-season Staten Island Yankees, delivering three scoreless and hitless innings with five strikeouts and a walk. He has 11 strikeouts and two walks in 5.0 innings.

Major league teams are on their All-Star break, with Shawn Armstrong serving as the only former Pirate on an active MLB roster. He is a reliever for the Baltimore Orioles.

Fellow pitcher Jharel Cotton is on the 60-day injured list as part of the Oakland Athletics' 40-man roster.

Jeff Hoffman, the ninth overall pick by Toronto in the 2014 draft, made seven starts earlier this year for the Colorado Rockies and is currently in Triple-A pitching for the Albuquerque (N.M.) Isotopes. Other former Pirates in Triple-A are infield utility man Jack Reinheimer (Orioles) and pitchers Seth Maness (Texas Rangers) and Mike Wright (Seattle Mariners).

Reinheimer played outfield, third base, shortstop and second base during his 21-game major league stint with the New York Mets in 2018.

Maness, 30, is set for his third-career minor league All-Star appearance on Wednesday in El Paso, Texas, for the Triple-A All-Star game. The former reliever for the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals has returned to starting pitching, making 12 starts this season for the Nashville Sounds with a 5-2 record and 4.97 ERA to earn All-Star status.

He has 41 strikeouts and seven walks in 67.0 innings.

Evan Kruczynski, who pitched for ECU from 2014-17, has spent time in Double-A and Triple-A this year. He is back in Double-A, where he excelled late last summer after earning an Advanced-A All-Star nod and started for the Springfield (Mo.) Cardinals on Monday night looking to improve his 2-3 record and 6.84 ERA this season.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


October 17, 2019

East Carolina University is waiting for new employment contract details regarding former ECU athletics director Jeff Compher, which could reduce the money owed to him.

Executive search firm WittKieffer announced Compher on Wednesday as a new principal in education practice, set to head recruitment…


October 17, 2019

Donnie Kirkpatrick doesn't think Demetrius Mauney is going to get any faster during his East Carolina football career, but he does think the freshman is bound to improve with time as a more complete running back.

Mauney, who is leading the Pirates in rushing this season but he has no starts and no…


October 17, 2019

East Carolina is a big road underdog against UCF in Orlando for a Saturday night football matchup at Spectrum Stadium.

Check out below for beat writer Ronnie Woodward’s three questions heading into the game:…


October 16, 2019

When UCF has the football Saturday night, the race to the line of scrimmage will include players for East Carolina, UCF and even the officials.

UCF runs a high-tempo offense as proficient as any team in the country, evidence by its 44.8-point scoring average and 544.3 output of yards per game, and…


October 16, 2019

As coaches and players are still in stages of the feeling-out process, every East Carolina women's basketball practice still is a little different.

First-year Pirate coach Kim McNeill views all of her players as freshmen in her system, not putting too much stock into what they did in the past, and…


October 15, 2019

Mike Houston said Monday that his ideal football kickoff time is 2 p.m. so he can spend some family time at night after getting home from a game, but he is preparing his East Carolina team again this week for a night kickoff.

The Pirates (3-3, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) will be looking to…


October 15, 2019

East Carolina basketball has a Miles James and a J.J. Miles this season.

Adding to the possible confusion between the two on a revamped Pirate roster is they are both tall guards looking to make this ECU team better at 3-point shooting compared to last year.

A unique thing about (J.J.) Miles, who…


October 14, 2019

One team could embrace newfound optimism Saturday in Storrs, Conn. For the losing team, frustrations will continue.

Connecticut is having football struggles as expected again this season, losing five straight games after a Week 1 victory against Wagner. Now the Huskies (0-3 in American Athletic…

Cincinnati Houston Football-5

October 14, 2019

One thing that stuck with Mike Houston as he navigated the East Carolina football practice fields during a bye week was the right level of commitment.

With ECU holding a 3-3 record halfway through the season, Houston said Monday that there are always exceptions with some players and especially…


October 14, 2019

A total of 18 cross country teams are coming to Greenville for the most schools ever to compete in the Pirate Invitational held at Overton's Lake Kristi. The meet is scheduled for Friday evening.

"Teams are coming from the SEC, with South Carolina, and the ACC, Duke's men, and you have some…

223 stories in ECU. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 23
        Next Page»   Last Page»