Carlos Rodon is headed to the Chicago White Sox.
Pitcher Rodon, who grew up in Holly Springs, went No. 3 to the White Sox in the Major League Baseball draft Thursday night.
He is only the fourth player from the Triangle to go in the top 3 and first since Raleigh’s Josh Hamilton went No. 1 overall in 1999.
After finishing his high school baseball career at Holly Springs High, Rodon went to N.C. State University, where he helped lead the Wolfpack to its first College World Series appearance in 45 years in 2013.
N.C. State stumbled to 32-23 this past season and missed the NCAA tournament.
Rodon, a power left-handed pitcher, went 6-7 with a 2.01 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 98.2 innings this season.
The White Sox have a recent history of fast-tracking college pitchers to the majors. Chris Sale, the 13th overall pick out of Florida Gulf Coast in 2010, made his big-league debut the same season.
Dan Plesac, the former major-league pitcher from N.C. State and an analyst for MLB Network, said during the draft broadcast that Rodon was a safe and polished pick and said he could be on the same path as Sale.
“He may be the quickest to the big leagues in the 2014 draft,” Plesac said.
At No. 3, Rodon became the first Wolfpack player taken in the top 10 of the draft.
This is the second time through the draft for Rodon, who dropped to the 16th round in 2011 after an off performance during his senior season at Holly Springs High School.
After that draft day disappointment, Rodon vowed to prove his worth.
“I want to show them that I’m worth what I said or that I’m not that 16th-rounder,” Rodon said then. “I think I should be in the first-round caliber group and this is going to push me to work harder.”
Rodon finished his college career with a 25-10 record, a 2.24 ERA and a school-record 436 strikeouts.