The Orioles will do cartwheels down Eutaw Street if Dylan Bundy, their first-round draft pick on Monday night, has a career similar to the pitchers he is being compared to: Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan. The Owasso High (Okla.) right-hander has a power arm that many analysts feel is the best in the 2011 MLB draft.
"He may only be in high school, but Dylan Bundy has the best power," Greg Amsinger of MLB Network said. "He's hit 100 miles per hour numerous times this year, and very few pitchers can say they've done that in college or high school this year." Harold Reynolds added that Bundy has the "best pure fastball in the draft."
And that's where those lofty comparisons start to come in. Reynolds believes Bundy has "the same leg kick and delivery" as Ryan. John Hart, who is also an analyst for MLB Network, thinks Bundy will attack hitters with an "aggressive mentality" like Oswalt, the three-time All-Star pitcher who is now with the Phillies. Sports Illustrated's Dave Perkin said that Bundy reminds scouts of a "shorter version of Roger Clemens."
"A broad shouldered and powerfully built six-foot-one, 205-pounder, Bundy has a nearly ideal compact and efficient delivery," said Perkins, a former Mets scout. "His aggressive approach, outstanding repertoire and tight mechanics are remarkable for a high school hurler."
That impressive four-pitch arsenal, along with his "smooth mechanics" and composure on the mound, is why Baseball America's Conor Glassey said many scouts viewed Bundy as a "college-level arm." He said that Bundy could move quickly through the Orioles system, relatively speaking.
So why wasn't Bundy scooped up sooner? He wants a big-money signing bonus. Yahoo's Dallas Jackson also said Bundy uses a long toss regimen that made some teams nervous.
Still, if the Orioles can sign Bundy and he can avoid serious arm injury, ESPN's Jason A. Churchill believes that Bundy is a "tremendous talent" who "profiles as a No. 1 starter."
"[He] could hit the big leagues as quickly as many of the college arms in the class," Churchill said. "The big fastball -- up to 98 mph -- is just the beginning as he also offers a plus curveball, a potentially useful changeup and a cutter that may be his best secondary offering. He's a workout freak and breaks the mold that [Orioles] scouting director Joe Jordan generally sticks to, but he stays on top of his pitches and is a great competitor."