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The big news in prospectworld today is the promotion of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy.
In 23 minor league starts this year, the 19-year-old right-hander went 9-3, 2.08 with a 119/28 K/BB ratio in 103.2 innings, allowing a mere 67 hits. He spent most of the year in A-ball, but made three Double-A starts late in the season, pitching 16.2 innings, allowing six earned runs (3.24 ERA) with a 13/8 K/BB. Overall, he has fully justified Baltimore's decision to draft him with the fourth-overall selection in the first round of the '11 draft.
My SB Nation colleague Marc Normandin has a nice rundown this morning on the recent history of 19-year-old pitching prospects in the majors. As Marc points out, the Orioles have been wisely cautious with Bundy's workload this year, so it seems unlikely that they'll push him in a big way this month. The idea seems to be to get his feet wet with a few innings during a playoff hunt, which seems like a reasonable idea to me. He had some minor command troubles in his limited Double-A exposure, but given everything we know about Bundy's talent level and his makeup, I can't see how a few major league innings will hurt him assuming they are properly managed.
I think the main question now is, where does Bundy fit in the spring of 2013? Will he begin next year in back in Double-A? Triple-A? Or could he possibly get a shot at the major league rotation?
I had a chance to speak with Bundy briefly at the 2012 Futures Game. He comes across as a serious young man. He actually reminded me to some extent of what Bob Feller must have been like at the same age. I knew Feller in the cranky twilight of his life, but even as a young man he was said to be very composed, self-assured.
I would not worry about the major league environment being a difficult thing for Bundy to adapt to. It is more a matter of making sure his command is up-to-snuff against more experienced hitters, and that's something he'll only learn by experience.
I assume that Bundy will begin next spring in the minors, but you know what they say about assumptions.