December 6, 2016
Putting up excellent numbers in 2016, right-handed pitcher Dusty Isaacs took advantage of every opportunity presented to him last season.
Helping Isaacs find those opportunities was second nature for the coaching staff, as the prospect was willing to perform as a closer, setup man, and long reliever as needed throughout the season.
Logging 55 innings among the three roles; Isaacs finished the year with an impressive 1.11 WHIP, 10.6 K/9 ratio, and a .224 opponent batting average between low-A Lansing and high-A Dunedin.
Finding the majority of his success in the later innings, Isaacs discusses what he likes best about pitching in high leverage situations.
“I think pitching late in games is something that fits my personality and competitive nature well,” stated Isaacs. “Obviously, you’re not always going to have your best stuff every outing, but it’s nice having the ball in your hands when it matters the most. I’ve always relished those kind of opportunities. At that point, it’s just you versus the guy in the box, and may the best man win. I feel it fits my game well.”
But it’s more than his mindset that brought the 25-year old pitcher great success in 2016, it was his ability to command all four of his pitches for strikes. Currently using a fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup mix in his repertoire, Isaacs showed great composure every outing.
Seeing a direct correlation between Isaacs mindset and increased feel for his pitches, Lansing Lugnuts pitching coach Jeff Ware goes into detail on what makes the righty so effective.
“Dusty is repeating his delivery and finishing his pitches better,” stated Ware. “Dusty’s slider has had a lot of depth to it this year. He’s a very mature pitcher that’s coachable. He wants the ball every time and with all of those qualities it’s helping him have success.”
Despite all of his success on the mound; Isaacs takes greater pride in the fact that his teammates turn to him for advice.
“I think the younger guys look up to me,” explained Isaacs. “When I’m out in the bullpen I feel the guys are comfortable coming to me for guidance in certain situations. I feel it’s a testament to the kind of person I am and if they look up to me I would be honored. That would really mean a lot to me.”
Whether it’s on the mound, or helping his teammates get the most out of their professional opportunity, Dusty Isaacs is a pitcher worth following for years to come.