05/20/12 7:08 PM ET
Prospect Bundy continues to dominate Class A
O's top pick in 2011 Draft runs scoreless-innings streak to 30
By Greg Luca / MLB.com
At only 19 years old, Bundy has seamlessly made the jump from his Oklahoma home to a professional career on the East Coast. He's been dominant with Class A Delmarva, running his streak to 30 innings without allowing an earned run after throwing five scoreless in Sunday's 3-1 win over Hagerstown.
And it's all happened without a hiccup, not a single noteworthy mistake or blip on the radar.
"Every day is the same for him," Delmarva pitching coach Troy Mattes said. "He's been a consummate professional. You don't have to remind him to do something or ask him to do something. It's done."
Bundy has done every interview and signed every autograph, only asking politely that his growing legion of fans wait until postgame on days that he starts.
He hasn't been late to a single meeting. Parker Bridwell, Bundy's roommate at home and on the road, said 30 minutes early is the new on-time.
Despite all of the change Bundy the professional pitcher has gone through in his six weeks as a starter for the Shorebirds, there hasn't been a change in Bundy the person.
"Not at all," Bridwell said. "He's been the same person all the way through until now. I think he's the kind of guy that won't ever change."
Bundy said there have been a few minor adjustments. The new travel schedule -- full of bus rides ranging from four to 12 hours -- has taken some getting used to. As has working every day, compared to five days a week in high school.
When asked if he feels if all of this has changed him or made him more mature, Bundy hesitates and cracks a sly smile.
"I mean, I feel like I'm still the same person," Bundy said. "I'm still going about my business the way I always have, and competing in every outing."
Why would he change? So far, he's done everything right. Even his game only needs minor adjustments.
Bundy has been working with his coaches to build his changeup to the Major League level, but on Sunday he only threw one in 58 pitches. He also threw just two curveballs, including a knee-buckling 12-to-6 that left Hagerstown second baseman Cutter Dykstra looking at strike three, one of Bundy's four strikeouts on the afternoon.
He allowed only two baserunners -- a double and a hit batsman -- in five shutout frames. For the season, he's thrown 30 innings, allowing just five hits and two walks with 40 strikeouts.
On Sunday, Bundy pounded hitters with his blazing fastball, which ranged from 94-99 mph on the radar gun.
Mattes said the changeup is coming along well, although Bundy is working to take even more velocity off of it.
So why didn't he throw it more often?
"Obviously he didn't need it," Bridwell said.
"When I was commanding my fastball today, they weren't really on it," Bundy said, adding that he didn't have his best stuff or command.
Although Hagerstown designated hitter J.P. Ramirez was behind on a 2-0 fastball, Bundy came back with the lone changeup. That helped Ramirez catch up, and he pulled the offspeed offering to right. Only a leaping catch at the wall by Brenden Webb kept Ramirez from becoming the first to earn a run against Bundy.
"I told him I'm buying dinner," Bundy said.
Bundy said he has difficulty working on his changeup because hitters at the Class A level have such a hard time catching up to his fastball. Throwing the change only levels the playing field.
Talk like that gives fuel to those pushing for Bundy's promotion. Dolles said he's been in discussions with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette about Bundy's future, but nobody with the Orioles has tipped their hand.
That's just fine by Bundy, who wants to continue working on his fastball command now that he feels comfortable with all three of his pitches and is being allowed to make five-inning starts.
As always, he's just taking things one day at time.
"No clue, that's up to the organization and the people in the front office," Bundy said of his promotion. "I don't need to know about that stuff. I just go about my business."
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.