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Former 46th-round pick Achter called up to big leagues

MINNEAPOLIS -- As right-handed reliever A.J. Achter likes to put it, he was taken in a round of the First-Year Player Draft that doesn't even exist anymore.

Achter was selected by the Twins in the 46th round of the 2010 Draft two years before the Draft was changed to include only 40 rounds.

So Achter took an unusual route to the Majors by becoming a rare late-round Draft pick to make the big leagues on Tuesday, when he was officially called up along with three other pitchers from Triple-A Rochester.

"It's pretty special," Achter said. "It was a pretty emotional time for me and my family. There was a lot of hard work and not just for myself. There was so much time and energy my family had to spend on this journey. So to be able to have it all come together this September is pretty impressive."

Achter, 26, got the call after an impressive season at Rochester, as he posted a 2.38 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 24 walks in 72 innings. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Achter was highly recommended by the staff at Triple-A and was happy for him to make the Majors given where he was drafted four years ago.

"It'll be fun to run him up there and see how he handles it because he had a great year and it was well deserved," Gardenhire said. "It doesn't matter where you get drafted. There's always that heart inside that can tell you that you can make it."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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