Every Friday through the rest of the season I plan on looking at a prospect who is currently in the lower levels of the minors, but should be on the radar of every dynasty league owner for their next minor league draft. Today's prospect is one who was in consideration last season for the #1 overall pick, and looking back on his performance and upside thus far, may have warranted that choice. Today's prospect is right handed starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Dylan Bundy.
Bundy was drafted by the Orioles in last year's draft with the #4 overall pick out of Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma, where his team finished runner up to Archie Bradley's Broken Arrow HS for the state championship. Bundy ended up signing for a bonus of $4 million, but did not debut during 2011.
Bundy was given what would normally be considered an aggressive assignment for a high school draftee, and was sent to the full season South Atlantic league to start this year. However, it became abundantly clear that this was not only not an aggressive assignment, but may have been below his level already. Bundy did not allow a hit in his first 13 innings pitched in Delmarva, across 4 starts, and struck out 21 batters in that time. He made 4 more starts at Low-A before being promoted, but not before posting this ridiculous pitching line: 30 IP, 5 hits allowed, 2 runs (both unearned), 40 strikeouts and 2 walks. He was promoted to High-A, and the numbers have been excellent as well. Through 9 starts, Bundy has a 2.98 ERA, 39 hits allowed and 48 strikeouts against 13 walks.
Bundy made an appearance at the Futures Game, and while the performance looked a bit raw, it's becoming very clear that Bundy should be in the discussion as the top pitching prospect in the game. The plan for Bundy for the remainder of the season (as reported by Steve Melewski of MASNsports) is to allow him to pitch past 5 innings for the first time this season in his start last night, and allow him to finish up the season around 125-130 innings in total. At that rate, his season will likely finish up in around 8 or 9 more starts, depending on how long he lasts in each one.
Bundy really looks like the real deal. Despite not being allowed to use what is considered by some to be his best pitch (cutter), he is still getting these amazing results while learning to effectively use his fastball and changeup together. His repertoire includes a 4-seam fastball, changeup, curveball, and that cutter. Kiley McDaniel posted a very in depth scouting report back in May over at Fangraphs, and basically graded all 4 of Bundy's pitches out as at least league average (50) or better future grades.
Overall, it sounds like based on the reports that Bundy has the potential to be a monster, a true #1 at the top of nearly any rotation in the Majors. Based on his progression, I could see a late season call up for him during the 2013 season. He seems likely to me to spend a significant portion of his season in AA, and I am hopeful that the Orioles will allow Bundy to use that full repertoire starting next season.
In terms of fantasy, you're looking at a fantasy anchor for your rotation when he gets to the Majors. He really appears to me like he has the potential to be a strikeout per inning pitcher, with solid numbers to above average across the board. It's kind of being difficult to say that there could be concerns about being in the AL East, but Bundy's stuff should likely play no matter who his opponent is.
Tulsa World (link)