A day removed from sitting in the office of Vanderbilt University head baseball coach Tim Corbin, Andrew Dutkanych IV was in a rural banquet hall in his home state being honored by prep coaches as the best player of 2022. Committed to play at Vandy, Dutkanych had a meeting with the Commodores coach in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, June 23. “It’s always cool to go down to Vanderbilt,” says Dutkanych. “I’ve been in-contact with them for so long. It’s becoming more and more real as it comes up on the next few months. “We were just talking about what the fall will look like if that’s what my decision comes to.” The 6-foot-3, 205-pound right-handed pitcher who went 8-1, struck out 114, walked 25 in 54 innings and led his high school team to the 2022 IHSAA Class 3A championship game could find himself back in Music City in the fall as part of a traditional college baseball powerhouse. Or Dutkanych’s name could be called early in the 2022 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft (slated for July 17-19) and cause him to go the pro route straight out of Brebeuf Jesuit High School in Indianapolis. On Friday, June 24 — the eve of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches AssociationNorth/South All-Star Series at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion — and with parents Andrew III and Caroline and brothers Sam, Jack and Luke plus high school head coach Jeff Scott in the audience at Roseburg Event Center, Dutkanych was honored as the 2022 IHSBCA Player of the Year. “Duke” knows many of the All-Stars from high school and travel ball circles. He will root on other South invitees, but he will not play in the games (two Saturday and one Sunday). After his time in Marion he will head back home and be a regular visitor to the weight room. “Right now I’m focusing on building some massive in my upper body a little bit,” says Dutkanych. “I want to get stronger up here and take a break from throwing.” Dutkanych says he will coordinate his training with PRP Baseball’s Anthony Gomez will doing most of the work at the gym next to his house. “The last week all I was focused on was the State Finals,” says Dutkanych. “It was obviously a heart-breaking (5-1) loss (to Andrean). “But it’s also been really cool to kind of reflect on the whole high school career and the relationships I had with the seniors and the whole team. I just felt a lot of pride in the last week for just being part of that team for four years.”
Andrew Dutkanych IV is a dedicated student – academically and athletically. During the current fall semester at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, senior Dukanych is taking nine courses and eight are of the Advanced Placement variety. During the spring semester of 2020-21, he earned a weighted 4.65 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. As a baseball player – particularly as a pitcher — the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has investigated ways to make steady progress. Dukanych committed to powerhouse Vanderbilt University at the beginning of his sophomore year at Brebeuf. In two seasons with the Braves (2020 was taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic), he is 12-6 with a 1.29 earned run average, 206 strikeouts and 35 walks in 119 innings. He averages 12.1 K’s and 2.0 walks per seven innings. His WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) is 0.84. He tossed an 18-strikeout no-hitter in the 2021 Marion County tournament championship game against Lawrence North at Victory Field and earned honorable mention on the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A all-state team. Jeff Scott is Brebeuf’s head coach. Wes Neese is the pitching coach. “He’s really good,” says Dutkanych of Scott. “He puts a lot on us players. He likes us to lead the team. “Coach Neese and I talk about pitching and planning.” The 18-year-old right-hander’s four-seam fastball has been clocked at 97 mph and regularly sits in the mid 90’s. He credits his training to his climb in speed. “I’ve had consistency in the weight room and with my plan and gradually added velo,” says Dukanych, who has been working on strength training and arm care since he was 14. Greg Vogt is the founder and Anthony Gomez the lead floor trainer at PRP Baseball in Noblesville, Ind. “It’s an independent thing, but I have constant communication,” says Dutkanych. “They devised a plan for me.” Pulldowns — aka Running Throws or Run ’n Guns — are max-effort throws with a running start in the off-season. They are often charted on standings boards, giving an extra layer of competition to training. “It’s it’s a tool that helps you condition your arm and gradually throw harder,” says Dutkanych. “If you want to throw harder you’ve got to practice throwing hard at times.” Dutkanych offers a comparison. “Sprinters sometimes run slightly downhill which forces their legs to move faster,” says Dutkanych. “With a pulldown, your arm is going to move faster. Your body can feel what 102 (mph) is like and that can translate to the mound. But I do pulldowns like three times a year. It’s more important to throw bullpens on the mound.” Dutkanych’s mound arsenal — thrown from what he describes as “a relaxed over-the-top” arm angle — also features a slider, curve and change-up and he plans to add a two-seam fastball. “I use a lot of my own ideas,” says Dukanych. “I don’t think I’ve had a coach call my pitches since I was 13.” His slider is characterized by its late movement. “I try to make it look like a fastball,” says Dutkanych. “When its good, it breaks late to the left and falls to the ground. It’s not a sweeper.” The curve spins over the top with downward bite. “I like to throw it for strikes because it freezes the batter,” says Dutkanych. The change-up is new. He did not throw one in the spring or at the beginning of the summer. Major League Baseball and USA Baseball hosted the High School All-American Game at Coors Field in Denver July 9 and Dukanych worked one inning. Dutkanych pitched two innings in the Perfect Game National Showcase July 14-18 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Dutkanych was invited to the Prospect Development Pipeline League in July. From the Top 96 in the country, he made the trials then the Team USA roster for a Sept. 2-8 seven-game Friendship Series vs. Canada in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. He started Game 1 and relieved in Game 6. Before that came one inning in the Perfect Game All-American Classic (July 29 in San Diego) and three in the East Coast Pro (Aug. 2-5 in Hoover, Ala.). Between them he began working on the change-up and began using it as another weapon. “This off-season I’m going to try to develop a two-seam fastball to develop at the bottom of the zone,” says Dutkanych, who also found time in the summer to play in Perfect Game tournaments with the Philadelphia Phillies Scout Team in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Atlanta and with the Indiana Bulls in Hoover. His summer number is often 84 since it equates with initials of “AD4.” It was just this week that Dutkanych the academic caught up on the classwork he missed while he was away from Brebeuf. In 2020, Dutkanych the athlete helped Canes National win the Perfect Game National Championship. He was with the team in events in Atlanta and the the USA Baseball complex in Cary, N.C. The righty is on a path to college baseball in Nashville, but there is a possibility that he could be selected high in the 2022 MLB First-Year Player Draft and decide to begin his professional career. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Dutkanych played at Washington Township Little League and then went into travel ball during his 13U summer with the Indiana Bulls. Before entering Brebeuf, he attended Westlane Middle School (an Indianapolis North Central High School feeder). He is the oldest of attorney Andrew Dutkanych III and grants manager Caroline Dutkanych’s four boys. Sam Dutkanych (14), Jack Dutkanych (11) and Luke Dutkanych (8) are all involved in multiple sports, including baseball.