Bobby Bundy has easily been the biggest ray of sunshine on the mound for the Orioles in 2011. And with his promotion to Bowie on tomorrow night, I thought now would be a good time to shine the light on him.
Bobby Bundy is 6' 2", 215 pounds and is a 21 year old right handed pitcher, drafted in the 8th round of the 2008 draft (Matusz). I remember being pretty excited about him back in 2008 because he was considered first round talent but fell due to an basketball injury and signability concerns. Perhaps it was due to Joe Jordan being a fellow Oklahoman, but the Orioles signed him, and would lay the ground work for picking his brother two months ago.
Scouting reports indicate he has a low 90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup. He pitched two innings in 2008 after signing. So, going into 2009, I was really curious to see how he would perform. And the results weren't that inspiring, frankly. As a 19 year old in Bluefield, he posted a 5.10 ERA in 54.2 innings, striking out 38 and walking 19. As a 20 year old in Delmarva, he posted 3.65 ERA in 116 innings (4.27 FIP), and while he struck out 91, he also walked 42. So he came in as a top 10ish prospect in a relatively mediocre system (15 by Sickels, 10 by Fangraphs, 10 by Orioles - Nation).
So what happened in 2011?
2011 has gone about as well as Oriole fan could have possibly hoped. Bundy threw 121 innings in the Carolina League, striking out 100 an walking 31 and posting a 2.75 ERA in his 20 starts. He has posted a GB/FB of 1.21, which is trending the wrong way from Delmarva, but he also allowed fewer HR/9 and walked a good chunk fewer. He is 5th in the Carolina League in strikeouts and sixth in ERA.
So, does Bobby Bundy make Baseball America's top 100 next year? Is that a legit question? How much credit does the staff in Frederick get for his development? Do you see Bundy as a part of the next good Oriole rotation in 2013?