Less than six months after he threw his first pro pitch, Dylan Bundy is headed to the big leagues.
|In the early days of the draft it wasn't all that unusual for a high school pitcher to make his big league debut either the same year he was drafted or the next year. But Bundy will become the first pitcher in more than 20 years to make such a quick ascent to the majors.|
|1990||Todd Van Poppel|
The minors top pitching prospect was called just an hour after the Orioles finished a marathon 18-inning win over the Mariners. That extra-inning game required the Orioles to use its bullpen for 12 2/3 innings. Needing pitching help, the Orioles, who had previously said they wouldn't call up their prized prospect, decided that they needed the help. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to report Bundy's call to the big leagues.
The Orioles have limited Bundy's innings this year, especially early in the year with the idea that they would be allowed to pitch more extended innings later in the season. Bundy was limited to three innings an outing for his first three starts and didn't pitch into the sixth inning until August.
"We're very conservative on the front end," Orioles pitching coordinator Rick Peterson told Baseball America in April . "At the back end (of the season), he'll be a normal pitcher."
Of course it's not normal for a 19-year-old to get to the big leagues, but Bundy would appear to be the Orioles' best option for pitching help. He went 9-3, 2.08 in 103.2 innings between three levels, striking out 119 and walking just 23. He also won a Sept. 5 start against Akron in the Eastern League playoffs while pitching for Double-A Bowie.
Bundy has the best stuff in the organization, including the big league staff, with a high 90s mph fastball, a plus curveball and a changeup that went from an afterthought in spring training to a weapon by midseason. He also showed an excellent cutter in high school, one that some scouts project as a plus pitch, but the Orioles have not yet allowed him to throw it as a pro.