Preston Guilmet ('09) is the latest Arizona Wildcat to reach the pinnacle of professional baseball.
The former Friday night starter at UA, turned closer in the pros, had his contract purchased Sunday by the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander went 2-4 with 16 saves in 34 appearances at Triple-A Columbus.
He is the 68th former Arizona Wildcats player (who finished his collegiate career at UA) to reach the big leagues.
Guilmet signed immediately after being drafted in June 2009 and got his first taste of professional ball at the short-season rookie level as a starter. He went 6-6 in 15 starts for Mahoning Valley of the New York-Penn League posting a 4.09 ERA.
After that season the Indians brass converted him to a back-end of the bullpen hurler and Guilmet has thrived ever since. He's advanced a level every season recording 86 saves and a 2.28 ERA.
"I'm not going to overpower guys with the fastball," Guilmet told mlb.com. "But, I think I get in there, I compete. I throw a lot of strikes and work pretty quick."
"He's worked his way up all the way from Rookie ball," Tribe manager Terry Francona said after Sunday's game. "At every level, he has succeeded. And he doesn't overwhelm you with his stuff, but he knows how to pitch and he competes."
Guilmet last week was selected as an All-Star for the International League.
During his four-year collegiate career at Arizona, Guilmet compiled 419 strikeouts to rank second in program history and fourth-most in Pac-10 Conference history. He garnered numerous national and conference honors, and helped pitch Arizona to a pair of 40-win seasons in 2007 and 2008.
A native of Citrus Heights, Calif., Guilmet was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2007 after leading the Wildcats with a 12-2 record on the mound en route to second place finish in the conference.
Guilmet is the 12th Wildcat pitcher coached by Andy Lopez to reach Major League Baseball since taking over at the school in 2002.
Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
Arizona Athletics and MLB.com contributed to this story.
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