Written by Lee Tackett
|Dylan Bundy - RHP|
|6-1||195||S||R||11/15/92||1st (4th) (2011)|
Scouting Grades - Definitions
|Major League Target Date||2015|
2012 Stats (DNP in 2013) - Full stats
Bio: Bundy, the 4th overall pick in the 2011 draft, was unable to build on his stellar 2012 due to an elbow injury that ultimately resulted in Tommy John surgery. He opened 2013 in big league Spring Training where he saw his only game action of the season. Bundy managed a 1.13 ERA in eight innings, but his six walks and a decrease in velocity were enough for the Orioles to shut him down due to “elbow tightness.” Bundy underwent platelet rich plasma injections in late April and was shut down for another six weeks. After resuming a throwing program in early June, things still weren’t right and the Oklahoman sought the consultation of Dr. James Andrews, who recommended surgery. Bundy underwent the procedure on June 27th and has had no setbacks since.
Stuff: Concerns about Bundy’s drop in stuff during spring training are attributable to structural issues within his elbow that have since been fixed. Tommy John is still a major surgery, but one that many players are able to come back from with similar, or even better stuff. In 2012, Bundy worked with a true mid-90s fastball that touched the upper-90s that he commanded well. At times, the pitch had arm side run, but there is very little deception in Bundy’s delivery, so balls in the middle of the strike zone were hittable. Bundy had success working up in the zone at the lower levels and will need to continue to refine if his command if he plans on pitching similarly in the majors.
Many outside the organization were critical when Bundy’s cutter was taken away at the beginning of 2012, but the plan let Bundy become more comfortable using his changeup and curveball. Bundy became more and more confident with his changeup as the season progressed and the pitch could eventually be a plus offering, as it has good arm side run and drop. He throws a true hammer curve that was nearly unhittable for minor league hitters. Bundy was allowed to use the cutter on a limited basis in his two major league bullpen outings, but with the organization’s concerns about his health, it would surprise if he resumed using it.
Pitchability and Intangibles: Bundy is the epitome of a gym rat, but because of this the Orioles need to keep a close eye on him during the recovery process. He will have no trouble with the meticulous rehab but may try to push deadlines. Bundy did not look overwhelmed during his brief MLB stint last season and has a poise about him that exudes confidence. This is a positive, but he needs to continue to be able to take coaching, especially once he eventually experiences failure.
Conclusion: Bundy’s schedule was obviously altered by the Tommy John surgery, but his ultimate ceiling remains in tact. If he comes back from injury in his 2012 form, he has all the ingredients of the number one starter that the Orioles have been craving since Mike Mussina. The organization will have some interesting decisions to make for how and where Bundy spends his 2014. A 12-month recovery time will put Bundy on a mound again in June, where the organization will be incredibly careful with how he’s used. Ideally, the team won’t need Bundy at all and he will be able to work back to full strength in the minors and have an entirely healthy season. The Orioles would have an intriguing decision to make, however, if come September, they are in need of a bullpen arm or if they are out of the race and want to give Bundy a few starts since he is already on the 40 man. Potentially the most intriguing subplot of how the team handles Bundy will be his innings. Given he won’t begin till June, Bundy will be hard pressed to equal his 105.1 innings of 2012. The AFL would seem like an easy landing spot for Bundy, but with precious cargo like Bundy, the team may not want him far out of their sights. The decision will then come up in 2015, assuming Bundy is ready to be a part of the big league rotation out of Spring Training, if the team will abandon the notion of his innings limit or continue the organizational policy of incremental increases.
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