2016 Southpaw Andrew Saalfrank Chooses Indiana

By Phil Wade

Executive Director, PBR Indiana

Andrew SaalfrankAndrew Saalfrank, a 2016 left-handed pitcher out of Heritage High School near Fort Wayne recently committed to Indiana University and Head Coach Chris Lemonis.  

The fifth ranked player in Indiana's 2016 class had a breakout performance at this year's Future Games pitching for Team Indiana in the third game of the event vs. Team Illinois.  The 6-foot-3, 185 pound southpaw sat 85-86 in his two innings of work, but it was his curveball that garnered all of the attention. The 76-78 mph curveball breaks at a 2/8 angle with sharp bite and is a legitimate swing-and-miss pitch.

Not only did Saalfrank display his strong pitchability, but he showcased athleticism, fielding four balls to both his left and right and turning them into outs.   

PBR: Ultimately, why did you choose I.U.?

Everyone kept telling me that I would know what school I would want to go to because I would fall in love with everything about it. I was skeptical, but once I visited IU with the new staff, saw some new things, had a different mindset going into it, I found that I fell in love with all of it. Everything from the coaches to the education to the outstanding baseball program. 

PBR: When did you take your first visit down to Bloomington? 

Saalfrank: I first visited IU when it was their opening game of my sophomore season. It was a rather cold day and an unforgettable day due to the weather, the experience, and it being the first school that I visited. 

PBR: Where did IU first see you compete? 

Saalfrank: IU first saw me throw in a high school game near the beginning of my sophomore year. 

PBR: What do the coaches expect from you when you first arrive on campus? 

Saalfrank: I think that the coaches want you to be yourself. They are trying to figure out your personality as well as you are trying to figure out theirs. It's only fair to act like you usually do and I expect them to do the same. Building relationships is one of the key factors in this whole process because you will be spending 3 to 4 years with them. They are essentially your family.

PBR: Were there any other schools you were considering?

Saalfrank: There were numerous schools that were of interest to me. Purdue, Indiana State, Virginia, and Notre Dame were all prestigious schools in my eyes.

PBR: You played for Team Indiana at this year's Future Games, describe your experience participating in that event.

It was an awesome time. There were so many amazing players on that team, most of whom will find their way to a division 1 school. It was a blessing to be selected to represent Team Indiana along with the rest of the guys.

PBR: Overall, how has PBR impacted your recruiting process?

Saalfrank: PBR has given me opportunities that I'm not sure I could have gotten anywhere else. They provide the scouts and exposure, but it's up to you to go out and do your thing.

PBR: Who is the toughest hitter you've faced within the state of Indiana?

Saalfrank: Freshman year I started our sectional game against a loaded Norwell team which had Josh VanMeter. I could easily say he's been the best hitter I have faced due to the fact that he got drafted and is now playing in a major league organization.

PBR: Now that you've committed, what are your goals going forward as a HS player?

Saalfrank: Nothing changes from the player standpoint of things. I still have to go out there and play just like I have and continue to get better, both as an individual and as a teammate. However, committing does take off a little bit of pressure.

PBR: Who has had the biggest impact on you as a baseball player?

Saalfrank: Dave Doster, a former player for the Philadelphia Phillies. He is my best friend's dad and has been in my life as a coach and someone to look up to for a long time now. He went through the whole recruiting process, MLB process, and couldoffer good advice to me as this was a difficult process at times. He is definitely someone I am lucky to have in my life and will continue to impact me in the future.

PBR: What were your stats last spring at Heritage?

Saalfrank: Last spring, my record was 7-2, 1.92 ERA, 115 k's, 28 walks, and gave up 37 hits in 62 innings pitched.