24 September 2012

Dylan Bundy Has Arrived

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or completely absent following sports or social media this year, you know who Dylan Bundy is. No, he’s not the guy that had 4 rushing TD’s for the Polk High Football team,  that would be Al Bundy (although Dylan apparently DID have a 3 TD game for his HS football team.) The 19 year old phenom pitching prospect for the O’s has had a great year, dominating in low A with Delmarva where the median age is 22, excelling in high A with Frederick with a median age of 23, and then doing well in AA Bowie against players with a median age of 24 this season.  

With a blazing four seam FB that sits in the high 90s and can reach 100mph, a curve that while still a tiny bit inconsistent (and let’s be honest, ALL pitchers hang a curve now and then) is a knee buckling knock out pitch. He’s also got a changeup that has seen miles of improvement over this season as he is getting more and more of a feel for the pitch. I’m leaving out quite possibly his best pitch, a cutter that moves a bit more like a slider and is a NASTY pitch, as some of his teammates have described. I leave that pitch out of this discussion because some members of the organization do not like the pitch in general and don’t want young pitchers throwing it. That is a topic for another day, however. 

So now that everyone is caught up on Dylan, it should be mentioned that he is one of, if not THE number one prospect in all of MLB, and the best Orioles pitching prospect in years. No pressure or anything right? Let us not forget that he is still a teenager, and instead of focusing on if he can have the impact of two other recent teenage phenoms (Trout and Harper), we should just sit back and enjoy the ride. This week, a pair of late, extended extra inning games led to an unplanned promotion to the big leagues, and he finally made his debut in a game, on the road, in BOS down 2-1 in the 8th inning. That is a lot of confidence in a 19 year old kid, especially when he inherited a runner on base. This is a group of fans who have fought against believing the hype all year for fear of being let down by a late season fade. As we approach the final 11 games or so of the season, one game behind the Yankees for the division, tied with OAK for the 1st wild card spot and 3.5 games up on the Angels for the 2nd, even the most skeptical and guarded fans now believe. Dylan Bundy has become the sign that it is ok to jump on board, both for now and the future. Regardless of how this season plays out, and whether he is on the post season roster or not, Dylan has arrived, bringing hope and a truckload of talent with him.

During his debut, Dylan only threw two types of pitches, a 94mph fastball that he kept low and in a few times and high and in on the two flyouts. This pitch made it easy to see why he is so tough on RHB, as he got two flyouts with it from 2 batters faced. He also mixed in an offspeed pitch that looked suspiciously like his cutter, although after the game Buck said with a smirk that it was a slider. We'll get back into this conversation later though. 

As for next season, expect to see him hang around training camp until the very end no matter what roster moves are made this offseason. Much debate will surround this as teams have given young players a start in the minors for a month or two before bringing them up, either to ensure that extra year of team control, or for the various reasons that teams give to NOT admit to doing so. Either way, this team will expect to come out swinging next year and Dylan will be a big part of that.

Welcome to the show kid, we hope you stick around a long time.

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