Once a week, I’ll be looking into a minor league player who is attracting attention, good or bad. After last night’s performance, there is really no other way to go but to Delmarva. Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft by the Orioles, has made the South Atlantic League hitters look like high schoolers, which is what he was facing last year.
The Orioles want to take it slow with Bundy, scheduling his innings for each start. In his first three outings, he only threw 3 innings, with his start last night going through the fourth. In the 13 innings, he’s allowed one baserunner, a walk, to go along with 21 strikeouts. The 19-year-old may be forcing the hand of Baltimore to speed up his progress, since I doubt he’s learning much of anything dominating hitters as he is.
His stuff is elite, as chronicled by Mike Newman on Fangraphs. His fastball ranges from 95-98, mixing both two and four-seamers. His curveball has a tight 12-6 break, sitting from 77-78. He also has a decent changeup, taking off about 12 MPH from his fastball. He does not have the prototype body at 6’1″, 185, but his mechanics are described as extremely efficient. The Orioles have also said they will not force him into a standardized workout, letting him keep his long toss and explosive weights regiment.
While this start is as impressive as one could possibly have, it is hard to say how good Bundy can be. I would assume he could be moved up to High-A, possibly even AA, and still do just fine. He needs to find a level where he could succeed, yet need to bunker down at times. He is probably the most polished high school flamethrower in recent history, which makes his progress impossible to ignore. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up by next September.