Duke sophomore Andrew Istler was a two-way player during his freshman season in Durham this past spring. He was primarily a reliever. However, he is expected to take ace Marcus Stroman’s rotation spot in 2013 (who was drafted in the first round of this past June’s MLB draft).
Istler was named the top prospect in the Coastal Plain League, as he made a smooth transition to the starting rotation this summer. He went 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in six starts (including two complete games). He allowed just 19 hits in 46 innings and walked just 12 compared to 39 strikeouts.
Istler throws two types of fastballs (a two-seam and a four-seam) that ranges from the high 80s to the low 90s, a slider with some depth, and a changeup. The changeup is a work in progress.
His coach with Wilson, Bryan Hill, had this to say about Istler (from Baseball America):
“He came to us as a two-way player who was going to relieve, and we had a doubleheader early so we needed him to start,” Hill said. “He dominated for eight innings in his first start, and we said, ‘Andrew, you’re a starter.’ And he was lights out.”
Istler hit .292 in 36 starts (137 at-bats). He had 15 walks to just 16 strikeouts in the spring. In summer ball in the Coastal Plain League, he was just 10-for-40 without an extra-base hit.
On the pitching side this spring, he was 4-4 in 23 games (three starts) for the Blue Devils. He also had three saves (second most on the team). Over 52 innings, Istler allowed 23 runs (21 earned) on 54 hits. He walked just nine while striking out 35. Opponents hit just one homerun off him.