Dylan Matthew Bundy
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Sperry High School, Owasso High School
- Debut September 23, 2012
Bundy had gone 11-1 with a save and a 1.58 ERA as a high school junior, striking out 164 and allowing 41 hits and 20 walks in 80 innings. He also hit .442 with a slugging percentage of .760 and 51 RBI in 129 at-bats. Baseball America named him as the second-team high school All-American utility man; Kaleb Cowart was chosen for the first team. As a senior, Dylan was better yet at 11-0 with 158 K to 5 walks in 71 innings. On the radar gun, he had peaked at 98 mph. In 2011, he was named the Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year, a highly prestigious award open to all high school athletes in the country; he was the first-ever baseball player to be so honored. The Baltimore Orioles took him with the fourth pick of the 2011 draft. He was the fourth straight pitcher chosen, following Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen and Trevor Bauer. Bundy's friend Archie Bradley was taken three picks later. However, Dylan did not pitch in the minor leagues that year after signing with scout Ernie Jacobs for a $4 million bonus.
In 2012, Bundy was invited to the Orioles' big league camp, even if he had no shot at making the team. He did impress everyone around, although he was one of the first players cut, even pitching a scoreless inning of relief against the Boston Red Sox in a Grapefruit League game. He was sent to the Class A Delmarva Shorebirds to begin his professional career, and was ranked the number 2 prospect in the Orioles' organization, behind Manny Machado, a commonly high Baseball America ranking for such a high pick.
Bundy made his pro debut April 6th against the Asheville Tourists and tossed three perfect innings, striking out six, in a dominant beginning to his career, before Miguel Chalas relieved. He was absolutely dominant over the season's first six weeks, not allowing a single earned run over his first 30 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 40. Because he was working on a very strict pitch count, he had to wait until his 8th start, on May 20th, to register his first professional win with five scoreless innings against the Hagerstown Suns. On May 23rd, the Orioles announced his promotion to the High-A Frederick Keys, where he was scheduled to make his next start on the 26th, having completed his stint in Low-A ball with a virgin ERA. He pitched for the USA in the 2012 Futures Game, then was promoted again on August 8th, this time heading to the AA Bowie BaySox, after going 5-3, 2.57, in 10 starts for Frederick. He was 2-0, 3.24 in 3 starts for Bowie, giving him a combined mark of 9-3, 2.08 in 23 starts in his first professional season. Then, on September 19th, he got an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night while staying at the Orioles' minor league training complex in Florida: the big league Orioles had just played an 18-inning marathon against the Seattle Mariners, depleting their bullpen, and asked Bundy to join them in Seattle, WA immediately, given he was already on the team's 40-man roster and available to pitch if needed. He made his debut against the Boston Red Sox on September 23rd, retiring both batters he faced in relief of Tommy Hunter in the 8th inning at Fenway Park. In all he pitched twice, giving up one hit and no runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Bundy was not expected to make the Orioles out of spring training in 2013, but it was clear the team was counting on him to join the big league squad at some point during the season, and for more than a mere token appearance this time. However, those plans were delayed when he experienced pain in his elbow in March, and the start of his season was pushed back. The Orioles' doctors decided to treat him with an injection of platelet-rich plasma and some rest, but he suffered what was described as a "significant setback" in his recovery while working out at the team's spring training complex in late June, a development that made it likely that he would require season-ending surgery. Indeed, the Orioles announced on June 27th that he would be undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Bundy did not return to the majors until 2016, having missed all of 2013, then played 9 games in the minors in 2014 and 8 in AA with Bowie in 2015. He started the season in the Orioles' bullpen and was used carefully, given how little he had pitched in the previous three years. He spent the entire first half in the bullpen, going 2-1, 3.08 in 22 games and generally being used in low pressure situations. After the All-Star break, however, the O's brass decided it was time for him to return to starting duty, and he made his first start as a major leaguer on July 17th against the Tampa Bay Rays. It wasn't great, as he gave up 4 runs in 3 1/3 innings and was charged with a 5-2 loss, but he won his next start, then on July 27th, facing the Colorado Rockies, he was perfect through five innings before issuing a one-out walk to Mark Reynolds in the 6th and then being tagged by Nick Hundley for a two-run homer that broke a scoreless tie; after a second out, David Dahl connected for his first major league homer, chasing him from the game. He was charged with the 3-1 loss, but it was a very encouraging performance, especially as he had struck out 8 and walked only 1. His next start, on August 2nd, confirmed the positive vibes: he retired the first ten men he faced against the Texas Rangers and again did not allow a hit until the 6th, when Elvis Andrus singled with two outs. He ended up giving up just that one hit and a walk over 7 innings to earn a 5-1 win. he ended the season at 10-6, 4.02 in 36 games (14 starts).
In 2017, Dylan was the rare reliable pitcher on a Baltimore Orioles starting staff that struggled with inconsistency and injuries. On August 29th, he pitched the first complete game and shutout of his career when he spun a brilliant one-hitter to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 4-0. The only hit was a bunt single by Kyle Seager in the 4th inning. He went 13-9, 4.24 in 28 starts, pitching 169 2/3 innings. He struck out 152 and walked 51, leading the team in wins. His only black mark was his inability to pitch deep into games.
On May 8, 2018, he had just about as bad as a start as a pitcher can have, facing the Kansas City Royals. The first inning went like this: Jon Jay hit an infield single; Jorge Soler homered; Mike Moustakas homered; Salvador Perez homered; Lucas Duda walked; Whit Merrifield walked; and Alex Gordon hit a three-run homer, as which point Dylan was mercifully removed from the game. The Royals went on to score 10 runs in the 1st and won the game 15-7. Bundy was the first starting pitcher ever to allow four homers without retiring anybody. He had a solid 3.76 ERA heading into the game, in spite of a 1-4 record, but that nightmarish start bumped his ERA to 5.31. Things could not have gone any more different in his next start on May 13th, as he pitched 7 scoreless innings, and it was the Orioles who beat down on their opponents, the Tampa Bay Rays, winning 17-1. he made 31 starts for the Orioles, and given the team had the worst season in franchise history, he ended up with a record of 8-16. He did not pitch particularly well either, as he logged just 171 233 innings, led the American League in home runs allowed with 41 and had an ERA of 5.45. The only positive was that he struck out a career-high 184 batters.
Sources include 2011 Baseball Almanac