Padres Draft Interview: Andrew Albers

Andrew Albers joined a friend when the San Diego Padres selected him in the 2008 MLB Draft – seeing his name alongside Sawyer Carroll seven rounds after his Kentucky teammate.

A 12th-round draft pick out of high school in 2004, Albers was the physical and vocal leader of the pitching staff throughout his career, functioning as a weekend starter and a closer during his four-year tenure. Albers started a team-high 15 games in 2007 and 14 games in 2005, appearing in 21 games in 2006 as the closer.

Give us an idea of your pitching repertoire – the pitches you throw and the speeds.

Andrew Albers: I am a slow-pitch guy with the fastball being my main pitch. I throw a fastball/slider mainly. I have a little bit of a loopy curveball and a changeup that I throw once and a while – pretty sparingly. That is the repertoire.

You come into the Padres organization and it is kind of surprising that you were the third pitcher they picked. Do you view this simply as an opportunity?

Andrew Albers: I think you said it perfectly. It is an opportunity. I think that is the way you have to look at it. You never know what is going to happen. I am thankful that I am going to get my chance and get an opportunity to show what I have to offer and hopefully I can go somewhere.

How do you attack hitters differently? Do you throw the same pitches to lefties and righties? Is there something that works for you one way and not another?

Andrew Albers: A little bit. I really try and come after hitters with my fastball, keep it low in the zone to try and get strike one.

I think I probably throw inside more than most left-handers do, especially against righties. I tend to come inside with the fastball fairly regularly, which, at least in college, is a little bit uncommon.

Then with the left-handers I throw a few more breaking balls than I do to right-handers. The change – when it comes out – is to right-handers as well.

You mentioned the fastball being the pitch and it is a pitch the Padres – muck like most organizations – stress. Is it a two-seam or four-seam fastball that you are throwing?

Andrew Albers: I throw both a two-seam away from the righties and a four-seam in – just outside of the plate. So the two-seam is away to the righties and into the lefties and the four-seam is in to the righties and away from the lefties. I try and work both sides. The two-seam has a little bit more sink. The four-seam is a little bit straighter with a little better control.

What is it about the game of baseball you love so much?

Andrew Albers: That is a great question. It is just the opportunity to go compete. The thing that makes baseball so special is although it is a team game, you see so many individual battles that go on throughout the game – the game within the game. It is a tough game mentally. It is something that you always have to be sharp when playing because one pitch can determine the outcome of a ballgame. I really enjoy that aspect of it and just getting to go out there and compete against everyone else.

You have worked a lot out of the bullpen this past season. Is that also the plan moving forward?

Andrew Albers: I don't know. I don't know what is going to happen. I don't know what the organization has planned for me. I have started before as a freshman and junior at the University of Kentucky and came out of the pen as a sophomore and senior. I do have some experience doing both and don't know what the Padres have planned for me to do. Hopefully, whatever role that is I can do my role and perform what is asked of me.

What is like knowing that you will have a friend in Sawyer Carroll coming in. You guys can share information and depend on through this process.

Andrew Albers: Absolutely. I am really looking forward to it. Sawyer is a great guy, a tremendous baseball player. I couldn't ask to be put on a team with a better person. I am looking forward to that. It will be nice and will make things a little more familiar. It is something that we can go through together and hopefully work our way up through the organization.

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