Orioles' Dylan Bundy Takes Improved Arsenal To Frederick
It's hard to tell from the stats, but Dylan Bundy is a better pitcher
now than he was when he started his first pro season in early April.
Bundy didn't allow an earned run in any of his eight starts at low Class A Delmarva. He didn't allow a hit until his fifth start, and compiled a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 40-to-2. After seeing that Bundy was breezing through the South Atlantic League, the Orioles have promoted him to high Class A Frederick, where he will make his first start on Saturday.
While Bundy was so dominating that any improvements are nearly impossible to discern statistically, his Delmarva pitching coach Troy Mattes said that from April 1 to today, Bundy has made significant strides.
"On April 1 he had no confidence in his changeup. He was trying to find a comfortable grip and learn how and why and when to use it," Mattes said. "He's grown up so much as far as how to read swings and learning when to throw his changeup. Ive seen him throw changeups in every count except 3-0 and 3-1. He now throws changeups to lefthanders and righthanders."
As Bundy heads to high Class A, he does so with a changeup he believes in. He also has a 95-98 mph fastball that he can command better than many veteran pitchers and a curveball that he can throw for strikes or bury for strikeouts. That's another pitch that has improved as April turned into May.
"Early on he was always looking for a swing and a miss. He has a hard time staying within himself with a consistent release point. The more he threw it, the more he realized he didn't have to do anything different than in the past. He doesn't have to do anything extra. It's got great 12-to-6 action. It's a great pitch. He can throw it for a strike. It's his third pitch. He understands it's more the development of the changeup (that's important right now). He can throw it for strikes or below the zone. He can throw it first pitch to a hitter."
Mattes said that Bundy can generally locate his fastball armside pitch after pitch. When he's trying to run a fastball away from a righthanded batter (to his gloveside), he can hit his target roughly seven out of 10 times.
It's the repitoire of a much older pitcher, but as Mattes explains, that's no surprise. Bundy has the head of a much older pitcher too.
"He has the ability to develop faster than anyone I've seen at that age. I've never seen a 19-year-old with that good of a feel for his body or his work ethic. To be as complete a professional at this age is outstanding," Mattes said.
It didn't hurt that Bundy has an older brother, Bobby, who is also a pro pitcher, so he'd already gotten a chance to see what it takes to be a pro. But a lot of Dylan Bundy's rapid maturation comes from his mature approach to the game.
"He's tried to drink in any information he can get. When the hitting coordinator's in town, he tries to learn from him. He'll ask, 'what do you see in his stance or his approach?' "