August 30, 2012
“Early on I just had that feeling that he was going to be a little bit more special than the others,” said Larry Turner, the head baseball coach at Owasso High School in Sperry, Oklahoma. He was reminiscing about Dylan Bundy. “The first time I saw him pitch he was probably about 10 years old,” Turner continued. “[Usually] you have some kids that were way ahead of others when they were young, and the other ones seem to catch up by the time they get to high school.” But Bundy “was the exception to the rule.”
Turner coached Bundy during his formative years, and he gives a lot of credit for Bundy’s success to the right-hander’s parents, specifically his father Denver. Dylan and his older brother Bobby, who also pitches in the Orioles’ farm system, learned the value of hard work from their father. “His work ethic is just unmatched,” Turner said of Dylan. “He’s a maniac about working out and doing everything he can to reach his potential.”
It isn’t just Oklahomans from Bundy’s hometown who love his makeup. “What I was most impressed about is how he fit in for a 19-year-old in big-league camp,” Rick Peterson, Baltimore’s Director of Pitching Development, said of Bundy. If you didn’t know any better, “you’d have had no idea that this kid was 19 years old.” Any organization would be thrilled to have a prospect with Bundy’s makeup in their system, but makeup is just where Bundy’s positive attributes begin.
Scouts and player development officials love Bundy’s stuff. His repertoire includes a fastball that sits in the upper 90s with some cut to it, supplemented by a changeup and a curveball, both of which have the makings of plus pitches. The curveball is sharp with 12-to-6 action, but one scout was more excited about the changeup, saying, “I don’t know how many times I’ve seen a high school kid come out with a changeup that far along.”
Bundy isn’t a finished product yet. In spring training, the Orioles sent him (and the rest of their pitchers) to ASMI to undergo detailed biomechanical analysis in Dr. James Andrews’ pitching lab. Bundy was eager to make changes to optimize his delivery, something that isn’t always true of pitchers who are so polished. However, his roughly six-foot frame and muscular build doesn’t lead evaluators to believe that there’s a lot of projection left. He needs to continue working on his secondary stuff, which should get better as he continues to log innings. “This is pretty much it, but it’s very good,” an opposing team’s scout said.
One pitch that’s missing from Bundy’s collection is his cutter, which earned some applause from evaluators when he was at Owasso. Philosophically, the Orioles don’t believe in having young power pitchers throw cutters. Peterson weighed in on the decision to scrap the cutter: “It has a major detriment to fastball velocity over time. It’s a pitch that can be very dangerous for young power pitchers.” Additionally, the Orioles weren’t overly impressed with the pitch when Bundy came to camp with it, which made the decision easy.