Bundy dreams of pitching for O's with brother
Taken No. 4, prep hurler projects as top-of-rotation starter
BALTIMORE -- Dylan Bundy looked Joe Jordan straight in the eye, his words brimming with an authenticity that gave the Orioles' scouting director hope that the top high school right-hander -- made the No. 4 overall pick in Monday's 2011 First-Year Player Draft -- truly wants to sign with Baltimore.
"He said, 'Joe, I want to be drafted by the Orioles and I want pitch in the Major League rotation with my brother," said Jordan, who selected Bobby Bundy in the eighth round of the '08 Draft.
"And I really believe that is what [Dylan] wants. We are going to pay him a lot of money. He's worth a lot of money. We'll get something done. But I believe the sincerity in that kid's face when he looked at me and told me that, he meant it."
Widely considered the top high school arm in the Draft, Bundy's name was at the top of the O's list. And as they watched the three teams before them unveil their choices -- two of which floated Bundy's name up until the final few hours -- the Orioles ultimately got their guy: a polished, power arm who projects as a future top-of-the-rotation starter.
|1||PIT||RHP Gerrit Cole|
|2||SEA||LHP Danny Hultzen|
|3||ARI||RHP Trevor Bauer|
|4||BAL||RHP Dylan Bundy|
|5||KC||OF Bubba Starling|
|6||WAS||3B Anthony Rendon|
|7||ARI||RHP Archie Bradley|
|8||CLE||SS Francisco Lindor|
|9||CHC||SS Javier Baez|
|10||SD||2B Cory Spangenberg|
|11||HOU||OF George Springer|
|12||MIL||RHP Taylor Jungmann|
|13||NYM||OF Brandon Nimmo|
|14||FLA||RHP Jose Fernandez|
|15||MIL||LHP Jed Bradley|
|16||LAD||LHP Chris Reed|
|17||LAA||1B C.J. Cron|
|18||OAK||RHP Sonny Gray|
|19||BOS||RHP Matt Barnes|
|20||COL||LHP Tyler Anderson|
|21||TOR||RHP Tyler Beede|
|22||STL||2B Kolten Wong|
|23||WAS||RHP Alex Meyer|
|24||TB||RHP Taylor Guerrieri|
|25||SD||RHP Joe Ross|
|26||BOS||C Blake Swihart|
|27||CIN||RHP Robert Stephenson|
|28||ATL||LHP Sean Gilmartin|
|29||SF||SS Joe Panik|
|30||MIN||SS Levi Michael|
|31||TB||OF Mikie Mahtook|
|32||TB||SS Jake Hager|
|33||TEX||LHP Kevin Matthews|
"I kind of got emotional," said Bundy, who was sitting alongside fellow Oklahoma prep pitcher Archie Bradley -- who was also rumored to be on the O's radar -- when his name flashed up on the screen. "I started to tear up a little bit because the first thing I thought of was my brother, because he's in the organization, and how I dreamed of playing with him and it's actually happening. So, it's been amazing."
"We're getting a package deal," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who joked that the organization should find out if the Bundys have any more siblings and add them to the fold.
"Hopefully we can get him in the fold and get on with his career. ... Joe's been in the house with him, and spoke with him and his family. That's as much of an evaluator as the skill set, and the skill set's pretty impressive."
Bundy will join an organization that has taken the approach under president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail of "growing the arms" and stockpiling pitching through the Draft. The O's rotation includes homegrown lefties Brian Matusz, Zach Britton and righty Jake Arrieta, and Jordan acknowledged on Monday that Bundy -- the team's third first-round pitcher in four years -- will be on an "accelerated pace" through the system.
A 6-foot-1 power pitcher, the muscular Bundy is built more like a position player than a prototypical prep pitcher, but scouts from all over the country have raved about his arsenal, which includes a fastball that has touched 100 mph, along with a trio of solid secondary pitches. His cutter can reach 90, and he also has a curveball and a changeup, the latter widely regarded as one of his best pitches.
But just as impressive as Bundy's arsenal is his command. In 71 innings for Owasso (Okla.) High School, he had a 0.25 ERA, struck out 158 and walked just five. Bundy, considered an incredibly polished prep arm, has been hailed for his fanatical workouts and intense devotion to nutrition to help him gain an edge.
"The stories are true," Jordan said of Bundy, whose unique strengthening regimen includes boxing, a video that has already gained some internet popularity. "He's just so determined and very disciplined. I think the more that everyone gets to know him and kind of what he's about, you can just kind of understand a lot of our attraction here. Beyond the physical ability that we think he has, he's unique in just his ability to focus and do the work that you need to be to be very good at what you do."
While his off-the-field regimen -- which includes throwing long toss from several hundred feet -- might be viewed as too extreme or a potential problem in a more unified Minor League system, Jordan said he sees Bundy's work as a good thing, and doesn't foresee it being an issue in the organization. Bundy echoed that sentiment and said he will continue with his workouts this summer while the two sides hopefully work out a deal.
"I am going to work with the Orioles and let them have their opinion on my workout and see what they think about them," Bundy said. "I do a punching bag routine that everybody can look up on YouTube. I like to do a long toss. Everybody likes to say I like to do long toss, but I mean I only do it once or twice a week and it is not 500 feet."
The biggest issue, of course, is signing Bundy. While reports prior to the Draft were that Bundy wanted a deal that could reach $30 million, Jordan said the team received new information that "doesn't come close" to some of the astronomical figures previously reported.
"The numbers that were thrown out were true," Bundy said. "That's how we feel and we feel that I am one of the best prep pitchers out there in the Draft this year, and we'll see what happens, I guess."
"We are going to start the process pretty quickly," Jordan said of the Bundy negotiations. "It is going to take some time. I have no idea what that means, but it won't be quick, I am certain of that."
Balitmore's next pick will be 64th overall, and live coverage of the Draft resumes at noon ET on Tuesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.