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Updated: May 7, 2024
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Copyright © 1997-2024
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2024 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Baseball Australia)

Amsterdam Pirates adds experienced international Australian pitcher Luke Wilkins

AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Reigning champion Amsterdam Pirates has added experienced Australian pitcher Luke Wilkins to its roster, which was confirmed on Tuesday-evening (May 7). The 34-year old righthander played professionally in the Australian Baseball League (ABL) since 2010 and developed into one of the most consistent (starting) pitchers. Wilkins also plays for the Australian National Team since 2018. After completion of the recent Australian season in February, Luke Willkins retired as player in the ABL, as he moved to the Netherlands with his wife for his work. And now, he soon will make his debut in the Dutch big league on the mound for Amsterdam Pirates. By continuing his career in the Netherlands, Wilkins will be available again for the Australian Team for the upcoming Premier12 in November.

...Luke Wilkins pitching for Australia during...
...the 2023 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Baseball Australia)
After having played for local teams in his home-state New South Wales, Luke Wilkins played college-baseball at Clarendon College in Texas (USA) for two years. After completion of his college-career, Wilkins made his professional debut at age 20, pitching in four games for Canberra Cavalry in the 2010-2011 season in the Australian Baseball League, which has its season in November through February.

Wilkins then signed with Sydney Blue Sox for the 2011-2012 season and so, he went on to play in his hometown, as he was born in Sydney. In his first few seasons, he was primarily a reliever. In the 2013-2014 season, Wilkins appeared in 21 games as reliever (seven as closer) and closed with an 0.28 ERA, which was the best ever in the Australian Baseball League. Unfortunately, he ended up four innings shy to qualify for the league-lead. This was his first full season and he struckout 27 batters in 32 2/3 inning, while walking only seven.

From the 2014-2015 season on, Luke Wilkins was primarily a starting pitcher for Sydney for five seasons. Thereafter, he became a reliever again. In his first full season as starter, Wilkins was 5-3.

Wilkins returned to the bullpen in the 2019-2020 season. In 21 games (seven as closer), he was 1-0 with one save and 23 strikeouts in 22 1/3 inning.

Since the 2020-2021 season, Wilkins played in the Australian Baseball League for Adelaide Giants. In his first season (2020-2021), he was a reliever. After the 2021-2022 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus-pandemic, Wilkins was back on the mound in the next season. He then was both a starter and reliever. In February of this year, Wilkins closed his third season with Adelaide. He now was solely a starter again in nine games and was 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 24 strikeouts. In the last two seasons (2022-2023 and 2023-2024), Wilkins won the Championship-title with Adelaide, winning the prestigious Claxton Shield.

In 13 seasons in the ABL, Luke Wilkins pitched in 134 games (53 as starter, 26 as closer) and was 26-19 with four saves. In 397 1/3 innings pitched, the righthander struckout 270 batters.

In several Summers, Wilkins also pitched in an American Independent League.

In 2015 and 2016, he played for Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League. In his first season, Wilkins was 8-5 (20 starts) with 77 strikeouts. In the next season, he was 4-7 as starter and struckout 79 batters.

And in 2019, Wilkins was a pitcher in the American Association for three teams: Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Sioux Falls Canaries and Chicago Dogs. For these teams combined, he was 6-5 as a reliever with 66 strikeouts and only 20 walks in 64 innings.

Since 2018, Luke Wilkins also has pitched for the Australian National Team during several international events. In 2019, he participated in the Premier12, pitching in relief in four games against Cuba, Japan, Mexico and South Korea. He struckout five batters in 4 1/3 inning. In 2022, Wilkins played with Australia against Japan in the Samurai Series. Last year, Wilkins pitched for Australia in the World Baseball Classic in the Pool that was played in Tokyo (Japan). In the WBC, Wilkins pitched in two games in relief.

(May 7)

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