- Full name Richard Lambert Rundles
- Born 06/03/1981 in Chattanooga, TN
- Died 12/16/2019 in Livingston, AL
- Profile Ht.: 6'5" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Jefferson County
- Debut 09/03/2008
- Drafted in the 3rd round (88th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 1999 (signed for $425,000).
Organization Prospect Rankings
Rundles joined the Expos along with Tomo Ohka in the Ugueth Urbina trade in July 2001. In his first full season in the organization, Rundles made just 11 starts because of elbow tendinitis. He was relatively healthy in his return to high Class A, experiencing only minor elbow soreness that cost him a few starts, and would have ranked seventh in the Florida State League in ERA if he hadn't fallen three innings short of qualifying. Rundles is a tall, lanky lefthander with good command of his 87-91 mph fastball. His 77-81 mph changeup is a plus pitch with late fade and tumble, but he needs to tighten up his slow 69-73 mph curveball. Rundles has an easy arm action and balanced delivery, but his arm path is long in back and fails to generate arm speed. Added strength is a must to improve his durability. He'll advance to Double-A in 2004.
When the Expos traded Ugueth Urbina to the Red Sox at the 2001 trade deadline, they received Tomo Ohka, who won 13 games and finished seventh in the National League in ERA last year, and Rundles. Montreal would make that deal again in a heartbeat. The good news for Rundles, who tired shortly after switching organizations and saw his fastball dip to 84-86 mph, was that he got his velocity back in 2002. He consistently threw 88-91 mph with good run and sink. He commanded the pitch well to both sides of the plate. The bad news was that he made just 11 starts because of elbow tendinitis and a cut finger, though neither injury is a long-term concern. Rundles also has a curveball with two-plane change and late break. He rounds out his repertoire with an above-average changeup that he throws with fastball arm speed. Rundles has a good feel for pitching and shows good composure on the mound. With Eric Good and Luke Lockwood, Rundles could give Harrisburg a lefty-laden rotation in 2003.
Though Tomo Ohka also was included in the deal and wound up pitching for Montreal last season, Rundles was the key player in the July deadline deal that saw closer Ugueth Urbina shipped to Boston. After spending two seasons in complex leagues, he ranked third in ERA in the South Atlantic League in 2001. Rundles is a strike-throwing machine. He has the ability to throw with command and purpose to both sides of the plate, inducing grounder after grounder. He has an 86-90 mph two-seam fastball that runs and sinks. It breaks late, as does his curveball. Rundles also owns a plus changeup, a fine feel for pitching and plenty of composure. Rundles doesn't have overpowering velocity with his fastball, but he projects to throw harder because of his smooth compact delivery, loose easy arm stroke and projectable body. At times his curve can be consistent. Rundles will follow the natural progression and start 2002 with Jupiter. The Expos view him as a potential No. 2 or 3 starter in the majors.
Minor League Top Prospects
Rundles is head-to-toe upside, which is why the Expos made sure he was part of the Ugueth Urbina trade at the July 31 deadline. At 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds, he has plenty of room for more strength, stamina and velocity. The Red Sox saw him as a No. 3 or 4 starter, but Montreal might have something better if he fills out physically in the next year or two. Rundles occasionally reached the low 90s with his fastball, though he pitched more in the mid-80s after switching organizations. He effectively mixed curveballs and changeups and displayed fine control. "He had a real good feel for pitching," Boulanger said. "Velocity isn't going to be his ticket. He has good command right now and doesn't need to throw much harder."