Dylan Bundy is no Steve Nebraska yet but the utter choke hold he possesses on opposing hitters is nearing real, rather than fictional legendary status. A first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, the native Oklahoman kept his season-long no-hitter intact by blanking the Greenville Drive over four innings. Thirteen frames into his professional career for the Delmarva Shorebirds, Bundy has yet to allow a hit. He’s surrendered one walk. And he’s struck out twenty one of forty batters he’s faced.
As a Longhorn alum, I’m used to watching high school stars on the diamond never reach Austin. First round money is too tempting and that’s always been a heel for plenty of elite college baseball programs. But Bundy, a Texas commit, is headed toward rareified territory of “what might have been.” Absent botched negotiations by the Orioles, the hard throwing righty was never going to pitch for Augie Garrido and it’s obvious why.
According to the Baltimore Sun, his fastball is working on another level at the moment:
After the game, pitching coach Troy Mattes said Bundy was “pretty much overpowering” with his fastball, which sat at 96 and 97 mph and touched 99 mph later in the outing.
What’s more, he’s developing a change up that should eat High-A hitters alive and keep Double-A opponents cautious. A promotion figures to be a given in the near future with Double-A a possibility based on his performances through the summer. There’s no reason for the Orioles to rush Bundy though, as he’s only 19 and starting his Major League service clock only means Baltimore must pay him massive amounts sooner.
Working Bundy’s stamina is the goal in 2012. His appearance on Tuesday was the first to go beyond three innings. The Orioles should utilize the season to increase those pitch counts incrementally, then let the kid win a spot in the rotation next year in Spring Training.
Not allowing hits and a 21/1 strikeout/walk ratio might accelerate the timeline though.