DUNEDIN, Fla. – Even though top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was optioned to the Delmarva Shorebirds, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will begin his pro career at the low Class A level, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Monday.
In fact, that was one question the 19-year-old Bundy wanted answered himself when he met with Showalter on Sunday afternoon after he was told he was being sent down to minor-league camp.
“We made that point to him yesterday,” Showalter said. “He noticed that before he signed [the form] he had to sign.”
Bundy being sent to minor league camp wasn’t a surprise to anyone. Showalter made it clear that the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft wasn’t going to make the big-league team this spring, and he repeatedly emphasized that Bundy needed to acquire innings at minor league camp. Minor league games begin on Wednesday.
In Bundy’s short time in big league camp, he impressed many with his maturity. And Showalter said he was impressed with his conversation with Bundy on Sunday.
“You know what was interesting to me about him?” Showalter said. “I said, ‘Let me see here. What are you thinking?’ He said, “I’m not thinking about anything at the start of the season. I’m just thinking about where I want to end up at the end of the year. … How I get there doesn’t matter.”
So Bundy's post-spring destination is seemingly still to be determined. It's still likely he starts with Delmarva, where he can more easily get adjusted to the pro game than, say, Frederick. Not many 19 year olds immediately make their debuts in high Class-A ball
“I just think it’s important that he start with a regular team and pitch every fifth day and if you need to decrease his innings, that’s easy," Showalter said. "He needs to pitch in August. He’s doing things he hasn’t done.”