4th Overall: Baltimore Orioles Select RHP Dylan Bundy

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In 2008 the Orioles drafted a pitcher out of Oklahoma by the name of Bobby Bundy who has been moving along slowly but currently resides in A+ ball. Last night the Orioles, with the 4th pick in the 2011 first year player draft, picked his brother Dylan Bundy. Bundy made the bold move of wearing a University of Texas polo on tv for the draft last night, showing from the start that he is going to play hardball (no pun intended) and it will take a lot to get the kid signed. Word on the scene is that he will be asking for $20M. That number is rooted nowhere near the place we call the ‘real world’ but it shows that he wants some money and he will most likely get it.

In Bundy’s case it’s good for him because from all indications he will most likely be worth it.  There is a story we were hearing a lot leading up to the draft in Kansas City, that in 2005 the Royals were looking for a college pitcher who could move to the majors quickly and it was their Florida area scout who said that they have that pitcher, only he’s in high school.  That pitcher was Zack Greinke.  Now, Bundy doesn’t project to have the social issues that Greinke had, but he does project to have the same kind of talent.

Bundy isn’t your prototypical tall pitcher but he is a very big, very strong 18 year old.  Bundy was the 2011 Gatorade’s National Player of the Year and led his high school Owasso to a state championship appearance in the state of Oklahoma.

Stats:

2011: 11-0, 1 S, 71 IP, 0.20 ERA, 5 BB, 158 K

The Stuff:

By all accounts Dylan Bundy is one of the most polished pitchers in the draft and that’s including high school and college pitchers.  Bundy has a legit mid 90’s fastball that was rumored to actually hit 100 MPH this spring.  Not certain if that’s true, but at his age, coming even close is impressive enough.  His fastball not only has that speed but it has good life as he has a solid cut fastball as well.

Next is one of the things that is most impressive about the 18-year-old pitcher is his big league curveball.  Bundy has a legit 12-to-6 curve that has proper rotation and he shows good command of this pitch often throwing it for strikes.  It is rare and unique to see a pitcher this young have such good command of his curveball and he has been utilizing it as a big-time strikeout pitch in 2011.

Bundy’s 3rd major pitch would be his changeup.  His changeup will only get better as he goes and it’s his weakest pitch right now but it has a plus-pitch ceiling and will be a great compliment to his repertoire at the pro level.  All in all that is 3 major pitches which can be broken into 4 if you break apart his fastball and his cut fastball.  Bundy shows a polish and command that is unusual for his age which only goes to show how special of a talent he really is.

If Bundy has a weakness it’s that he slows his arm down a bit when throwing his changeup which tips the pitch a bit, but is something that should get smoothed out the more he throws the pitch.  Not much else for Bundy, as aforementioned, very polished for a HS pitcher.

Projection:

Bundy projects to move through the minors quickly.  He projects as a guy that could jump a couple levels each year and be in the majors by the time he’s 21 which would put him at a little over 2 years in the minors.  For a HS pitcher, this is a very quick move through the system and by every indication Bundy show’s he’s ready for it.  At his ceiling Bundy is a front of the rotation ace starter.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on Dylan Bundy and the Baltimore Orioles in general, be sure to check out Birds Watcher.