Former Wildcat pitcher Albers called up to the Twins

LEXINGTON, KY (WKYT) - Former Kentucky star left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers will be called up to join the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, it was announced by the club on Friday night.

The franchise announced that Albers, a 2013 International League All-Star selection, will join the MLB roster on Saturday from the triple-A Rochester Red Wings, where he last started on Wednesday.

A native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Albers has made 22 starts in his first triple-A season in 2013. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder has an 11-5 record and a 2.86 ERA with three complete games, hurling 132.1 innings, walking 32 and striking out 116.

Albers ranks first in the International League in strikeouts and complete games, also ranking second in wins and innings pitched, and sixth in ERA and WHIP (1.18). Over his last 10 starts, Albers has a 7-3 record and a 2.64 ERA with two complete games, allowing opponents to hit just .225.

Over his four-year Kentucky career (2005-08), Albers appeared in 81 games with 31 starts, totaling a 20-18 record and a 4.47 ERA, saving 12 games. Albers worked 239.1 innings in his career, striking out 185. Albers ranks seventh in UK career history in wins (20), fifth in appearances (81) and fourth in saves (12).

As a senior, Albers helped anchor a UK bullpen in 2008 that led to a then-school record 44 games. He appeared in 31 games in 2008 with five saves and 64 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Albers made 15 weekend starts in 2007 and 14 as a freshman in 2005, also serving as the closer for the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship club, with seven saves in 21 outings. Overall during his career, Albers led UK to 151 wins and the first SEC Championship in program history.

Following his senior season, Albers was selected in the 10th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the San Diego Padres. Albers has shined throughout his four-year minor league career, including a stop in the CanAm Independent League, before signing with the Twins in 2011. Over his 83-game minor league career (49 starts), Albers has a 25-10 record and a 2.86 ERA, with four saves in 337 innings.

In addition to his minor league success, Albers has been a star for the Canadian National Team during its gold medal run at the 2011 Pan American Games, where he threw 6.2 innings in the championship-clinching win over the United States.

Albers will be the fourth Wildcat to play in MLB in 2013, joining Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Joe Blanton, Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill and Chicago Cubs starter Chris Rusin. Including Albers MLB debut, a total of 27 former Kentucky stars have now advanced to MLB. During UK head coach Gary Henderson’s time in Lexington, a staggering total of 58 players have been drafted or signed an affiliated professional contract.

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