The amazing start to Orioles righthanded pitching prospect Dylan Bundy's pro career is getting more amazing by the outing. After yet another hitless outing Tuesday, Bundy has now faced 40 batters, allowed no hits and one walk. For good measure he has 21 strikeouts.
Pitching for the beautifully named Delmarva Shorebirds of Salisbury, Md. in the South Atlantic League, Bundy, only 19, appears to be everything Orioles people suspected this spring. Manager Buck Showalter loved so much what he saw he gave him a shot agsint the heart of the Boston Red Sox order, and Bundy retired Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez. Bundy did allow a four-pitch walk to Dustin Pedroia, however, in the scoreless inning.
The hitters in the Sally League haven't fared nearly as well against the No. 4 overall selection from last June's amateur draft, as 39 of 40 have made outs against Bundy, who impressed Orioles people almost as much with his moxie as his stuff this spring. He suggested he felt he could pitch in the big leagues. Regarding his readiness, Orioles GM Dan Duquette said by phone, "He might be (ready) right now.''
Duquette though, wouldn't speculate on Bundy's actual ETA, saying, "Whenever the team decides to put Dylan in the big leagues he'll be successful. The guy has good stuff and he wants to be a top-notch pitcher.''
For now the Orioles will stick to their plan, which means one more four-inning outing followed by three five-inning outings. "Then,'' Duquette said, "Rick Peterson (the pitching coordinator) takes the training wheels off.''
Bundy and his Oklahoma high school buddy Archie Bradley, who went No. 6 overall to the Diamondbacks, are said by scouts to have similarly great stuff, but one difference noted by a couple scouts was that Bradley seemed to be the kinder, gentler one while Bundy was seen as the feisty guy. "He's a hard-nosed competoitor,'' is the way Duquette put it.
The hitters of the Sally League are seeing that, as he's flashing his fastball, clocked between 94 and 98 mph and very good curevball and changeup. He has simply dominated them like he belongs at a level far higher. But as Duquette pointed out, "He did have one walk.''