Former University of Kentucky pitcher Andrew Albers has been on a roll, going 11-2 at Triple-A Rochester since May 17. And it's not like he didn't pitch well before that when he was winless the first six weeks of the season despite posting a 2.70 ERA.
Albers, a 27-year-old Canadian prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization, ranks third in the International League in strikeouts with 112 even though his fastball only hits 85 mph most nights, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.
"There's not much typical about Mr. Albers," Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president of player personnel, told the newspaper. The left-hander frustrates batters because every windup looks identical, but every pitch does something a little different.
"He's a guy who gets outs with touch, feel, command, deception," Radcliff said. "When he's going good, he can actually throw an 85-mph fastball by people because he's got them looking for something else."
Albers is 11-4 overall with a 2.90 ERA.
"He's been our most consistent starter, maybe at any level," Radcliff told the Star Tribune. "He's a finesse guy, but with an aggressive style. Expands the zone, disrupts timing. He doesn't have any signature thing about him, where you say, 'Wow, that's why he's good.' But he is."
As for a shot at the majors, "that's a big step," Radcliff said, "but he's got our attention, for sure."