Prospects on Deck: RHP Andrew Istler – Dodgers
Baseball stars can emerge at anytime and from anywhere within an organization. It doesn’t necessarily matter if you are an early round pick, a late round pick, a top prospect, or even a fringe prospect. Real talent gets exposed when the opportunity is given. Sometimes it happens sooner than others.
Insert Andrew Istler.
Istler was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 2015 draft out of Duke University. He started out his career with the Blue Devils as a starting left fielder/pitcher, until making the change to pitcher following his Sophomore year.
“I went in as a two-way, more as a pitcher, but they kind of knew I could play the outfield. My first fall there I did really well in the outfield and hitting and got myself a starting spot in left field” Istler said in a phone interview.
During his freshman season at Duke, Istler batted .292 with 13 RBI, collecting 40 hits in 36 games. He also made 23 appearances on the mound that year, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.63 ERA. A bit of a hitting slump in his Sophomore season led to the position switch, which is most likely the reason I am writing about him now.
“My Sophomore year I started off in a little slump hitting, and me any my coach sat down and basically decided that my future was on the mound.”
That season he was primarly used as the Blue Devils closer, and racked up eight saves. He made a team high 28 appearances and finished the season 3-6 with an ERA of 4.10. He would come into his own in his final two seasons inserting himself into a weekend starter during his Junior year and continuing that his Senior year. He left his mark on Duke’s record books when he departed.