Ohhhhh, an MLB debut on Sunday! Perfect for the Pitcher Profile! Starting the second half with a bang!
Even though he was likely not throwing too many pitches, I decided to take a flier on Dylan Bundy in most of my redraft leagues. He was the talk of the prospect community way back in 2012 where he terrorized the Minors and actually picked up 1.2 innings in the Majors that season, progressing all the way from A ball. Unfortunately, as is the case with a ton of pitcher prospects, injuries reared their ugly head with a TJ surgery and shoulder issues, and he hasn’t pitched 100 professional innings since. I remember going coocoo for Cocoa Puffs for him back in the day, so I was all decked out in my proverbial Bundy gear to prepare for his first Major League start. Here’s how he looked yesterday afternoon at the Rays:
First Inning: The O’s pickup an early run of support for the rook, and Bundy’s first pitch is a 96 MPH fastball right on the black up-and-in for a strike to Logan Forsythe, 0-1. 97 MPH fastball is high, 96 is on the outside corner, the 97 on the outer third is swung through and missed for a K to start it off on 4 straight fastballs!
Hell yeah! 97 is outside to Brad Miller, then a low 96 MPH fastball is chopped to first, with Bundy covering well to get the out. Then yikes, this is Bundy’s first curveball as the first pitch to Evan Longoria.
Then there’s my jynx, Longoria sits dead-red fastball and gets 97 MPH right where he wants it for a murder of a home run. Caleb Joseph sat low and away and Bundy missed up and towards the hands, but in the zone. So fastball location is looking like it may be an issue. 96 misses outside to Logan Morrison, then Bundy’s first change-up is an 87 MPH high one that LoMo pops out to foul territory past third base and gets Bundy out of his first inning with only giving up one base runner. Gotta be a positive!
Second Inning: Still a 1-1 game and Steven Souza fouls off an inside fastball, 0-1. Then fastball again inside is hit hard to center, with Adam Jones pulling up on it for a single. Hard hit single for sure, didn’t jam him enough. High 95 MPH fastball gets a whiff from Corey Dickerson, Bundy absolutely paints the outside corner at 97 0-2, then high fastball again at 96 gets a lazy pop to center, one down. 96 blows Kevin Kiermaier away with yet another swinging strike, 97 sails high, 96 high and Kiermaier can’t hold his swing for another whiff, then 97 high blows him again for ANOTHER whiff and Bundy’s second K.
96 on the hands gets Oswaldo Arcia to – you guess it – swing and miss, 97 too far inside, 95 looked perfect on the outside corner but called a ball 2-1, 94 misses just outside but definitely a ball, then wow, change-up 3-1 at 86 MPH gets a called strike 2, love the confidence there, then unbelievable, a 96 MPH HR on the outside corner gets Arcia basically just flipping his bat at it, and it carries out for a homer by about an inch. Sure, it’s the Trop and a pitcher’s park, but that homer was crazy. Credit Arcia for that strength, but that didn’t look like a homer at all off the bat. Alright, I’m mad, I’m sure Bundy is mad, and he starts Curt Casali with a curveball that stays high, curve again stays high, now fastball at 96 is high, 3-0 and a little unhinged. Then 94 is just barely off the outside black for a 4-pitch walk. Ouch. Fastball in the zone fouled off my Forsythe going back to the top, then a nice tight 76 MPH curveball in is in there for strike 2. If Bundy can get those for strikes, he can be pretty awesome. Another curve at 79 is well in the dirt but Forsythe started a swing and held, 94 on the hands is inside, change-up hung in the air a tad too much and gets a rope foul, then change-up again at 86 tails back into the zone for Bundy’s 3rd K.
Third Inning: Ohhhh nasty. Starts the third with this curveball to Brad Miller.
Then another swinging strike on a change-up. I want to GIF every friggin’ pitch! Then are you mother F kidding me?! 95 on the outside corner is his 0-2 pitch and it’s hit oppo field for a homer. Hit harder than that Arcia one… So weird! Change-up taken gets strike one to Longoria, then change again is hit hard to deep center, but Jones has it in front of the track for a loud first out. 96 gets another swinging strike from LoMo, 95 a little high, nasty curveball at 77 goes a little too low and inside, 94 is fouled off, 95 sails well high, then 87 MPH change-up gets LoMo to flip his bat at it and dump a flare single into right. Curveball bends in there for strike one to Souza, curve again sweeps outside, 92 paints the low outside black perfectly, although the velo is a little scary low there, 1-2. 94 jams the hell out of him for a weak foul back, 95 was called for high and Bundy gets it way high 2-2, then a nice curve at 77 that was likely a strike forces Souza to swing and pop it in the infield for the second out. Change-up flutters outside to Dickerson, then change-up again gets a whiff 1-1, change a third time stays outside, high fastball at only 92 again is fouled back, then 94 blows him away upstairs for his 4th K.
Fourth Inning: So Bundy is back out there at 57 pitches, and I definitely want to see the velo come back up. However 92 is the velo on the first-pitch fastball to Kiermaier, but it’s in there for strike one, then a curveball is flied out routinely to left, one quick out. 94 high and outside to Arcia, 84 MPH change-up skips in the dirt, 92 is a mile high, then 91 is high for a 4-pitch walk, and the velo has dropped dramatically since the middle of that third inning. 92 barely nips the inside of the zone to Casali 0-1, change-up on the outside black perfectly placed at 85 MPH gets a swing and miss, 93 high and tight, curveball lined foul, fastball stays high at 93, change skips in low, then change again drops too low, and Bundy gets yanked after back-to-back walks. Man, what a Jekyll and Hyde outing for me to decide what to do…
Final Line: L 3.1 IP 70 Pitches (41 Strikes) 4 ER 5 Hits 3 Walks 4 K Gamescore: 35 Gamescore+: 39.2
Final Analysis: Jesus, this JB fellah is a moron! Way to stream an absolutely horrid start! Wait, why am I reading this again?!?!?!
Despite all the pros and cons I’m about to run through here, I think I’m actually more optimistic than pessimistic. Unsurprisingly the Gamescore+ came out higher than the Gamescore due to more Ks than IP in a shorter outing, which almost always spits out a positive difference.
Bundy’s got some pretty unreal pure stuff. It starts with the fastball that was routinely 96-97 until the third inning, then he really started tailing off into the 92-93 range. That was pretty unfortunate. Also, his command is a little off, but two of the homers he gave up were nice outside fastballs that got cranked oppo. His main off-speed is probably the curveball, which had big loopy bend in one variant like that Longo first-pitch GIF, then tighter break to get called strikes in the zone like the final GIF. And for the final wow-factor, the change-up looked like a plus-pitch as well, hitting 85-87 on the gun with consistent break and he could get them over for strikes as well.
I’m actually pretty giddy after this start, despite the horrid line. Any time I GIF more than my normal quota of 4, you know I really enjoyed breaking it down. And I counted 12 swinging strikes. 12! Out of 70 pitches! Double-digits for any starter is above average, much less in a building-arm-strength/stretching-him-out start. Bundy is surprisingly out of options, so the plan appears to piggyback him through the rest of the season. It’s pretty encouraging that they’re not having him wallow away in long relief (they were trying to have him on a starter’s schedule in relief though, only going every 5 games or so) and have moved him to this role. Unfortunately, my giddiness isn’t going to be worth much in redraft leagues, and I didn’t even rank him top-100 yet. They’re going to be EXTREMELY cautious with the pitch count given his injury history, and have a spot starter/long relief guy ready in the bullpen to piggyback at any give time. But I am pumped I snagged him in one of my shallow dynasties as he was kinda a forgotten commodity. I’m likely not playing him most starts – I foolishly did this one, but thought the Trop might work out – but the upside is certainly there with 3 plus-MLB pitches ready to go. It’ll be hard not to rank him fairly aggressively in 2017, even if we have another innings limit concern.
Updated Top 100 SP
(rankings for ROS based on 12-team Roto, green for risers, red for fallers)
Dropped Out: n/a
- Woooo, unlike last week, only 3 games of action to worry about in the re-ranks vs. two weeks since I missed the 4th… Yikes last week looked like a Christmas Tree! Arguably the biggest, well not change, but difference – is what the move to Boston means for Drew Pomeranz. And it’s not too much for me. Petco has actually played pretty neutral and his ERA and WHIP are better on the road than at home anyway. With his 10+ K rate, it will minimize some park factors and what little impact that will have on the ratios I think he makes up for in run support.
- While I don’t like to over weigh rehab starts – starters are just trying to get comfortable again and may work on certain pitches to get their feel back – seeing Felix Hernandez just absolutely dominate AAA with reportedly crisp stuff and his fastball back in the low 90s like we’re accustomed to has me excited again. 7 Ks in 5.2 innings with 52 of 75 pitches for strikes. Daddy like.
- Stupid old people and their skin issues! Ugh, Rich Hill. Ugh.
- James Paxton might be the most annoying pitcher to ever have a 100 MPH fastball.
- I might take a flier on Mike Foltynewicz if he’s out there, but he’s been such a hot and cold pitcher through his short career that I couldn’t bump his ROS rank up all that confidentially.
Thoughts on Mr. Bundy and the terror he reigned down on my ratios? And anything in my ranks get your Linuses in a bunch? Shoot your thoughts below, and happy second half Razzball Nation!